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Teach a little, learn a lot

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    The summer might seem like a quiet time for some, but for us it’s as busy as any. When James O’Dwyer joined our team he knew the main focus would be preparing for the publication of UCB’s half-year financial results.

    UCB has already moved to a digital-only annual report and it’s always great to benefit from the new generation of media-savvy ‘digital natives’.

    We thought it would be a nice idea to give James the space to reflect on his time here. He says some nice things be we didn’t force him to – honest!

    My experiences at UCB
    By James O’Dwyer, Indiana University

    For the past couple of weeks I have been shadowing UCB’s investor relations team in preparation for the release of their half-year financial results. As a university student from the US with absolutely no exposure to the corporate world, I had no idea what to expect in an office environment, let alone one located in Brussels, Belgium. However, UCB has welcomed me with open arms and has made for an extremely smooth transition.

    Coming into a department that centers around events, such as the half year financial release, I knew that there would be absolutely no room for error or delay. To be honest, I expected a very strict protocol in preparation of this event with no wiggle room on any step of the preparation process. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

    To my surprise, advances in technology have brought about an extremely innovative and entrepreneurial culture to the investor relations department at UCB. I have noticed that rather than sticking to the traditions of the past, my colleagues are more interested in catering to the investors by all possible means, even if it entails dropping a set protocol that has been used for many years. On more days than not I’m assigned to the task of “thinking outside of the box” for ways of improving the experiences of every UCB investor, in many cases with the use of technology. This was a phrase that I would expect to hear at a small start-up company, surely not a publically traded corporation. However, as an Informatics major at Indiana University, I couldn’t have asked for a better question to be asked.

    I have always associated internships with busy work, which includes many painstaking and meaningless tasks. My internship this summer has brought about quite the opposite. My co-workers have routinely been referring to me as the “Generation- Y” and have been using me to gain as much information about social media and other technological media as possible. I was more than happy to give as much insight on the topic as I could.

    I came into my internship at UCB on the expectation of learning a lot about the corporate world and the pharmaceutical industry, two areas I previously knew nothing about. Now that I’m reaching the end of my internship with the Investor Relations team, I realize that they have approached me with an even greater eagerness to learn. My work here has felt extremely meaningful - a feeling that is difficult to come by for a summer intern.
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