Have you ever wondered how the ‘pharmaceutical companies’ function in general? Have you ever wanted to experience the ‘corporate’ more closely? Then this is the correct opportunity for you! This event was held between the 10th-13th of January.
I came to know about the Novartis BioCamp from a close friend studying Pharma. Being from a background of Biotechnology, the highlights of the Camp fascinated me. On me qualifying the criteria for application, it led to my initial entry into the three-step selection procedure for this BioCamp.
With the submission of my curriculum vitae, I cleared the first round of the application process. Subsequently, there was an online test to gauge the aptitude and scientific base of our candidature.
The third and final step was the submission of a thousand words essay summarizing the ideal scenario of a vaccination program that can be carried out in a vast country like India and what my contribution would be. After clearing these three rounds, the committee finalized only 50 participants out of the thousand applications or so!
Some of the highlights of the three-day program are as follows. On the first day they held an ice breaker session that was very true to its name. I met so many different people with such major accomplishments, yet humble in every sense, that I was overwhelmed by the talent these colleagues of mine had.
We were assigned a problem or I must say a challenge for which we were randomly allocated different groups. In addition, in the group, there was no person from the same institute. This was, of course, scaring to me at first. However, in the end, I loved my group. We all contributed equally to the task and did more than we were expected to.
We were to make a presentation or pitch our ideas just like the way any team in the corporate would do which was a whole new experience for me. Even though I am confident in presenting and have done so on many educational platforms, knowing someone is going to be the judge for your whole team’s efforts based on your performance is different and a huge responsibility.
The sessions were all intriguing and engaging. My major takeaway was the fact that you can take risks, if you know what you are passionate about, even corporate makes way for you and, you tell your shortcomings honestly without having a hint of guilt in your story as long as you are working to be a better person.
Novartis had a team of talented superheroes who were genuine and humble enough to respect all the doubts you have about them as well as the sessions.
My favourite sessions were the breaks, which didn’t allow you to procrastinate, yet managed to make me feel refreshed. These were called, ‘energize for life’ and included meditation, mindfulness, and movement. The three M’s of life.
I think all sessions had something to teach or ponder upon but, we all are biased in the end, and the ones I enjoyed were: ‘Nudge’, ‘Learning in a changing world’, ‘Analytics in healthcare’, ‘Project LEOPARD’, and ‘Ethics’. These were the sessions I have the least notes of, which means I was engrossed in the lecture and amazing conversations on the lit chat box.
The three days passed in by a flash. All the efforts put in through sleepless nights were dearly missed and proved memorable for a lifetime.
These are few snaps from the BioCamp session:
About the author
Karthik Shrinivasan is a final year Masters student of Biotechnology at Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Savitribai Phule Pune University. Apart from a keen interest in pursuing research as a career, he like to write and edit blogs, is an mythology enthusiast, Bharatanatyam exponent and loves me time!
Written by: Karthik Shrinivasan
Photo credits: Karthik Shrinivasan
Edited by: Ritvi Shah