My name is Patricia Schmidt. I’m a ninth semester veterinary medicine student and an intern for six weeks in Global Veterinary Services at Bayer Animal Health in Monheim.
It’s a long journey to becoming a veterinarian – eleven semesters are the norm. I’ve been studying at Justus Liebig University in Giessen since 2011 and am now effectively in the home stretch. This year, I’m in the practical year, which means that I’m “rotating” between the various university clinics and external internships.
Why did I decide to do an internship at Bayer?
Here at Bayer I have a unique opportunity while I’m still a student to get an insight into the areas of work open to a veterinarian working in the pharmaceutical industry.
The image of the “typical” veterinarian working in a small animal practice or traveling across country as a large animal practitioner is also very prominent in the study environment. That’s why I find it particularly interesting to get a feel for what awaits a veterinarian in areas supposedly far removed from everyday practice.
My internship at Bayer can be summed up in one word – varied!
From the outset, great importance has been attached to enabling me to get to know as many areas of operation as possible. Right on day one, I was given a complete list of contacts with a wide range of specialisms who very kindly offered to welcome me into their departments and present their fields of activity. I’m based in the Global Veterinary Services department of Marketing at Bayer Animal Health, where I also work on my internship projects. Among other things, I’ve focused on the SPCs (Summaries of Product Characteristics) for various antiparasitics and the extent to which they differ in Europe and the United States.
However, I’ve also regularly spent time in other areas:
– For example, I’ve been involved in formulation technology and now have a somewhat better understanding of how challenging the journey from active ingredient to finished pharmaceutical can be.
– During my time in arthropod breeding, I was able to marvel at the lifecycle of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) to cats and dogs.
– At the Bayer Bee Care Center, the focus was on the varroa mite and research into bee-friendly crop protection agents.
– In pest breeding, I experienced disgust and fascination in equal measure when I saw the approximately 8 cm-long Madagascar hissing cockroaches in action and learned how best to feed maggots.
– Finally, I’ve also been able to get an overview of parasiticide research and veterinary microbiology.
– Happily, I haven’t missed out on practical animal work during my internship, either. In Research and Development (R&D), I’ve been able to help with studies and this has given me the opportunity to get to know the adorable beagle and better understand the importance of work with animals in pharmaceutical product development.
What do I take away from my internship?
I particularly like the fact that Bayer has given me the opportunity to get an insight into a whole range of areas and thus widen my own horizons. The strong networking and intensive collaboration between a wide range of departments in the Group have particularly impressed me. The warmth with which I was accepted into the Bayer team and especially in my department has made this internship a unique experience for me.
Finally, my internship at Bayer has shown me that a veterinarian in industry can look forward to attractive and varied areas of activity that offer a high level of responsibility.
What awaits me after my internship?
The next stage in my practical year is a horse clinic in Ireland.
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