(This is the last in a series of blogs from the MDigitalLife Team of Summer Interns using the MDigitalLife Health Ecosystem to shed light on day to day topics of conversation. Our last post covered the online discussion on concussions.)
As our summer internship comes to a close here at W2O Group, we, the MDigitalLife interns, would like to share some final thoughts and reflections with you. For the last ten weeks, we have been blessed with an opportunity to work with an amazing group of people and be a part of an extraordinary company. Our work with MDL has helped us grow in many ways – we have gained valuable work experience with a company that is on the cutting edge of its industry, a chance that is not afforded to many. We have also formed great relationships with our coworkers, all of whom have been incredibly kind and helpful to us from the very beginning. While we expected to grow during our time here, we did not expect that our coworkers would be as encouraging and excited as they were to help us do so.
We came into MDigitalLife not really knowing what to expect, although we had some understanding of what we may be doing we were still unsure. Our first week was filled with lots of learning about what MDigitalLife does as a whole, and the term “tribe building”, which is our fancy word for saying, “identifying and classifying stakeholders into the MDigitalLife Health Ecosystem Database.” On top of that knowledge dump, we found out about the internship project, which included two projects. Of the four groups, two were asked to give HP a brand voice that targeted millennials, while the other two were asked to create a social media campaign for Galderma’s newest product Qilib. Because our teams consisted of members from all of W2O’s offices, ranging from San Francisco all the way to London, the project was a great way for us to learn how to connect and work across long distances. Throughout the summer we had a intern speaker series, where W2O employees gave us advice and knowledge about different aspects of the company and the business world.
Speaking specifically to our time with MDigitalLife, we worked with the team on tribe building a LOT this summer, to the point that it became second nature to us. Although the original method for inputting data was very interesting, there was a new method in the works; after we tested out the new method, the team decided to begin implementing it into the standard work process. We also began to introduce a new branch to the taxonomy in which we could classify “caregivers” better. Building the Caregiver taxonomy level required us to use a keyword query, which sifted through posts to focus on specific keywords that caregivers would use to identify themselves. While it was a grueling process, it was definitely one we could handle. Our time with MDigitalLife also meant that we took part in the team’s “stand-up” meetings. The team lives by these daily meetings, during which the team literally stands around a table and discusses their work for the day. Stand-up was an interesting experience for us, but certainly proved to be useful – the meetings were a great communication tool and made our work goals for each day much clearer.
While we all learned a great deal from our time with MDigitalLife this summer, each of us felt that a particular takeaway was most important to us individually:
Last summer I interned with W2O Group as a technology intern and would routinely hear snippets of MDigitalLife projects, tools, and in particular tribe building. My attention was consistently drawn to the work a fellow intern was doing for MDigitalLife, so I decided that my goal for the following summer was to check out what the hype was about and dive into the world’s first online health ecosystem. I knew that my knowledge of both the healthcare industry and world geography were relatively strong coming into this internship, but I didn’t realize just how little I really knew. Through daily tribe building, I have furthered my understanding of therapeutic areas and geography. For example, I thought that liver cancer was just called “liver cancer”. While tribe building, I learned there are five different forms of liver cancer including Hepatocellular Carcinoma, a disease of which I spent days inputting data about. On the other hand, I feel like an expert in geography and could quickly tell you that Mumbai, India is located within the Indian state of Maharashtra. Or that Derbyshire, England resides within the East Midlands section of England. This summer I was able to take what we as millennials call “social media stalking” to a professional and business level by correctly organizing and grouping online social presences in their respective taxonomies.
This summer internship for me at MDigitalLife has definitely been one for the books! My biggest takeaway from this great experience was getting out of my comfort zone. I was put in a situation where I had to learn on my feet and make mistakes. I had to acknowledge when I didn’t know something about the healthcare industry and I made this a great learning experience. The MDigitalLife team was always open to questions and willing to teach us new things regardless of time it would take. We were given the opportunity to reach out to other employees at W2O and learn new things. After much networking through employees here at W2O, I was connected with Maya. I told her about my interest in social media and how I would love to observe her on a project involving social media content. One thing led to another and eventually I was helping her on a social media analysis of the 2016 Olympic Games featuring the US Women’s Gymnastics team. It was amazing experience to learn what other groups offer here at W2O Group and I will always encourage others to step out of their comfort zone because you never know what you may find!
Of the many lessons I have learned from my time here, I believe the lesson that will prove most helpful to me going into the future is that I should not be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly or simple they may sound in my head. When I first arrived at the W2O office in Austin, I was given a quick tour of the building and thrust into training sessions on how to use the system soon after. By the end of the first week, I was working independently on tasks and projects with the rest of the MDigitalLife team. At first, I felt that it was expected of the interns to absorb all those lessons and be able to function like an ordinary member of the company. But the truth is that we were never expected to be perfect from the get-go; in fact, we were never expected to be perfect at all. Amidst all the new things I was learning about the health ecosystem and the healthcare industry as a whole, I forgot that the whole point of an internship is to learn all you can while you have the opportunity. Once I began asking more questions and talking to my coworkers more about the work I was doing, the whole internship changed for me – I gained a better understanding of not only what work I was doing, but WHY I was doing it as well, which I believe is just as important.
In conclusion, we feel that the entire internship experience has been immensely rewarding and satisfying. We hope that our work this summer will continue to have a positive impact on this company going forward. To the entire Austin branch, we would like to offer our gratitude and our thanks. And to the MDigitalLife team in particular – keep up the great work, and may your days be jammer-free! 🙂