If you want to pursue a career in medical statistics then gaining work experience is essential, as just gaining a degree in mathematics or similar is not enough to get a job in this area.
Describe your role and the responsibilities involved.
My role is to gain an understanding of how things are run in this area of work and to learn new software programs and how they are used to create statistics for clinical papers. Also being introduced to the steps and processes of setting up clinical research trials. I have been undertaking secondary research on a previously published clinical paper to aid possible further research to be carried out.
How do you think the internship will help you in your degree and future career?
So far I think this internship has given me an insight into where this career path will take me and whether I want to work in this particular area of Medical Statistics. It has also given me food for thought about whether to go on to do a PhD after my fourth year.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying for an internship and what skills/experience do you think are necessary to be successful in your application?
Look for internships early, don’t book a summer holiday until you know whether your applications have been successful. You must have some relevant work experience and express a real interest/passion in the area you wish to work in after your degree and thus the area of the internship. Get your CV up to scratch and tailor it to the area of work in which the internship is based. Get as many family or friends to proof read your CV to iron out grammatical and other errors.
Is there anything you wish you’d done before the placement to help you prepare for either the application process or the work itself?
Make sure you have a realisation of how long your days are going to be as your university degree is a poor representation of what a ‘normal’ working day is like. I undertook a careers management module whilst completing my degree and this helped me to write a really good and specific CV.
What was the highlight of your internship and your biggest achievement within the role?
I have successfully managed to create a database in a new piece of statistical software reflecting a trial booklet, and then interfacing this database with another software program such that data can be entered with minimal room for error.
Is there any other interesting information about your internship that you’d like to include?
If you want to pursue a career in medical statistics then gaining work experience is essential as just gaining a degree in mathematics or similar is not enough to get a job in this area. This area of work is a very interesting and diverse as it is ever changing due to drug development and other advancements in medicine.