I was completing a pharmaceutical sciences degree and, in this my placement year, I needed to get as much industry experience as possible. Many pharma companies bid for students, with GSK, BMS, Sanofi-Aventis and CSL some of the most sought-after places to work. I came across Commercial Eyes in my community pharmacy setting, where one of the pharmacists I worked with mentioned that she worked at Commercial Eyes.
Before I joined Commercial Eyes, I spoke to my University placement coordinator and he was hesitant to send me to a company he didn’t know anything about. But he had a different impression when he left the Abbotsford office after meeting with the senior team; he was surprised and impressed by the breadth and depth of services Commercial Eyes offered, and the experience people brought to their roles.
I chose the company for my internship because of the wealth of experience in the organisation. I started as the most inexperienced person in an office full of experts in their fields, including Regulatory Affairs, Medical Services, Reimbursement and Market Insight. But what better way to learn than from the best?
Busy with the basics
I was Commercial Eyes’ first student and had no idea what to expect. I started working in Patient Support Programs and it was great to work with a group experienced in pharmacovigilance, patient support programs and clinical trials. I found that patient support was the best way to learn industry basics.
I then moved into Medical Information, supporting Medical Services clients who have needs that must be met on a daily basis. I handled more than 2000 enquiries, reporting numerous AE reports and handling product complaints. I spoke to countless patients, doctors and pharmacists; sorted folders, built databases and undertook administrative work.
In our day-to-day interactions, I built fantastic working relationships and rapport with my pharmaceutical clients, which was particularly important to me.
Learning how to learn
Working at Commercial Eyes was the best way to start my career. I met and spoke to various industry people, undertook vast in-house training, attended several ARCs training sessions and Commercial Eyes Journal Club sessions.
To quote one of my lecturers, ‘It’s not about what you learn, but how you learn’. The best thing about learning at Commercial Eyes is that I received thorough competency based training as well as hands-on industry experience.
I could not have acquired so much knowledge and felt so supported without the contribution of all the Commercial Eyes staff. They taught me a great deal, they have been friendly and have given their time freely. I hope that in future the company can help train more students like me; I know clients and the industry will benefit enormously from the experience students will gain at Commercial Eyes.