[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_single_image media="51040" caption="yes" media_width_percent="90" alignment="center" media_link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sibeliusnaturalproducts.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2Finterns.jpg||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]With the hope that the company could provide guidance and play a role in improving future career prospects of young professionals, Sibelius partnered with Santander Universities to take on two recent life science graduates from Oxford Brookes University as interns – Kateryna Trokhymchuk and Amy Bridges. They were also joined by a second year Cambridge University student – YiPeng Khoo. The Santander Internship Scheme works with universities and SMEs, and offers support through partial funding of 10-week internship programmes. With this help, it is ensured that both the business and the interns receive the most beneficial and rewarding experience from the scheme.
Joining the Sibelius team was a smooth process thanks to the supportive and welcoming community at the office. Everyone was friendly and willing to help in any way possible, with our personal highlight being the regular supply of freshly baked cakes and snacks!
Considering the variety of educational backgrounds, specific project plans were given to each of us to enhance the skills we developed at university. These included tasks ranging from product development to investment and finance. Throughout our time at the company we began with conducting secondary scientific research; analysing the viability of potential new products. This led us onto scientific marketing and evaluating recent literature, with an end goal of finding the ‘golden nugget’ of a healthy human volunteer study. After this we were challenged with assessing the current market for each respective indication; paying attention to the market size and competitors. Our final task was the more creative brand marketing – creating a logo, sell sheet and packaging ideas for potential future products. Overall this showcased an end to end experience, allowing the us to appreciate the different aspects of taking a product from initial concept to market.
On the finance side of things, YiPeng worked on crafting a full business plan and pitch deck in preparation for Sibelius’ upcoming funding round. Starting off with a deep-dive into the fundamentals of the company – understanding how the market, technology, supply chains, business strategy, and company organisation worked – he then moved on to analyse the information in order to stitch together a coherent and enticing picture for potential investors. Working closely with the CEO, YiPeng created key documents that conveyed the unique selling points of Sibelius to the target group of investors. These efforts culminated with YiPeng presenting his work to existing investors. This not only gave him invaluable feedback on his work, but also granted a complete and personal experience of the financing activity that occurs between a company and investors.
Between regular catchups with the product manager and the CEO discussing progress, we found the internship allowed us to gain confidence in our abilities. Working in an environment where we were encouraged to use our own initiative when confronted with challenges, we were also reassured that help was available when needed. In our opinion, this experience has allowed us to have a real sense of responsibility, as we were given the opportunity to make a tangible impact on the business.
Overall, the company made good use of our education by integrating it into a professional setting. This has been a valuable experience – giving us an insight to the day-to-day workings of an SME. We also found that the Sibelius community provides a supportive environment which allows both employees and interns to excel with academic autonomy. We hope that this is the beginning of a wider future initiative to continue to build a support system for students as we have found it very valuable, and would like to thank everyone at Sibelius for their guidance and support during our time here.
By Amy Bridges, Kateryna Trokhymchuk and YiPeng Khoo