My experience as a Communications intern at Vifor Pharma

 About me

My name is Greta and I’m 19 years old. Originally I am from South Tyrol, the North of Italy. However I was born in Vienna and later grew up in Salzburg. At the age of seven I moved to Zurich, which is the place I call home.

In 2018 I graduated from the Literargymnasium Rämibühl and decided to move back to Vienna for my studies. I am currently a journalism and communication studies student and it’s safe to say that I truly enjoy the subject.

After one year of studying theories, I wanted to know what corporate communications meant in practice. I sent an application to Vifor Pharma and after a short interview with the Head of Corporate Communications, I was offered an internship of six weeks in her department.

I am very grateful for this opportunity and happy to share my experience as a summer intern at Vifor Pharma with you.

A day in the life of a Communications intern

I start off every morning with a short trip to the post office. The daily newspapers will have already arrived and are waiting for me to be picked up. After taking them to the company Bistro and replacing the papers from the previous day, I head to my desk. In fact it’s a new desk everyday depending on whose desk is free for the day. This hot desking makes it possible to sit around different people almost every day and to get in contact with all of the team members.

As I’m logging into my computer, I will have already received the daily press report via e-mail. Reading through the articles mentioning Vifor Pharma or other topics concerning the company has become part of my daily routine.

From that moment on every day looks completely different. I am given interesting tasks like drafting content for the intranet, or coming up with ideas to get employees involved in the annual Iron Deficiency Day. I get to create slides that appear on the screens in the building to inform colleagues about upcoming events, or the great possibilities the Vifor Pharma building in Glattbrugg has to offer. Proof-reading and checking translations as well as supporting the process of creating the Editorial Style Guide are a few of many things I am able to help with.

Presenting in front of the whole team might have been the highlight of my internship. I got to do some research on the topic “What Millennial / Generation Z employees really want?” which resulted in a short presentation. In the beginning of my presentation I felt quite nervous, but this feeling luckily faded away as the team strongly encouraged me. The positive feedback afterwards was reassuring and I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone.

Lunch time means good food and taking a break! I never had to worry about going for lunch by myself as the team has taken me out with them since day one. We would either check what the FELFEL-fridge at the company Bistro has to offer or in case of a sunny day, we would go outside to grab lunch. Getting some fresh air and spending time with your co-workers outside of the office balances the whole day and gives you the energy to master the second half of the day.

Occasionally events take place on the ground floor of the building. I very much enjoy the concept of “Lunch & Learn” where you attend a presentation prepared by colleagues and have catered lunch afterwards. I was able to help out as a mic runner at the “Rayaldee Food & Facts Session” and I also took care of the video recording. Becoming aware of all the factors that have to go perfectly together to ensure an event is successful, has been an impactful experience for me. I’m often taken to meetings where I meet interesting people from different departments. It’s fascinating to see how people work together and how decisions are made.

When I get home in the evening I feel tired but satisfied. Tired because of all the new impressions I’m absorbing every day at Vifor Pharma but satisfied because I know I’ve actually learned something new and got work done.

Huge thank you!

A big thank you to the whole Corporate Communications team for making my experience as an intern at Vifor Pharma so special. I felt welcome and validated the second I stepped into the building because of them.

I very much appreciate the time and patience you invested into introducing me to their work. By letting me take responsibility without making me feel left alone, they created an ideal space for me to really learn more about communications as a profession.