Josh has been a part of Maxwell Plus’ Clinical Operations Team over the past 3 months. Hear about his experiences as an intern as he reflects upon his time with the team.
For the past three months I have been spending one day a week as an intern for Maxwell Plus, a Brisbane-based startup organisation that is working to change the way we screen, detect and diagnose disease. Tucked away in an unassuming lane in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most intelligent, passionate and driven people I have ever encountered. This is an opportunity that has arisen as a part of the QUT Creative Industries work integrated learning program. It has given me the chance to work with industry professionals to apply and develop the skills I have acquired as part of my media and communications major and further advance my professional acumen.
On a day-to-day basis, I have predominantly worked with the Clinical Operations Manager, Claire. Working with Claire has given me exposure to an holistic and diverse range of opportunities, both within the office confines and outside. With Claire I have been able to work on a variety of engaging, challenging tasks, and she has continuously given me constructive feedback to help me improve. In the office, I have used my media and communications skills to manage the company’s social media pages, draft and design the fortnightly newsletter, review investor pitch books and draft award nominations. Outside of the office, I have been given the chance to represent the company at industry conferences, mingle at investor evenings and meet with external research professionals.
On my second week, in a scene akin to an Australian test cricket debutant receiving his baggy green, I was presented with my own Maxwell Plus shirt as I prepared to attend the annual Asia Pacific Prostate Cancer Conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. From helping to set up Maxwell’s stall, exploring the conference and fielding questions from clinicians about Maxwell’s products, I learnt more in one day about prostate cancer than I thought I would ever know in my life. Perhaps the highlight of the day, however, was seeing how excited Maxwell’s Researcher Dr. Sriganesh Srihari was to attend seminars and learn from other industry experts. For me, this typified the genuine passion that Maxwell’s employees have for their work and for making a contribution to their field of expertise.
Lending a hand on the social media and PR side of the business has developed my analytical and professional communication skills. A far cry from a university essay, I’ve learned that being punchy and to the point is the key to sending a strong message. Numerous re-drafts of tweets, finessing brochures and drafting content has made me appreciate how much thought, time and effort needs to go into every client-facing message and communication. It’s definitely a case of less is more, and you can’t afford to say one word too many.
One of the most exciting things about working with a startup is how quickly ideas develop and change. It was almost every week that a new product feature had been designed or someone was overseas to present to clinicians, meet with research collaborators or attend international conferences. The rapid trajectory of Maxwell at times made it seem as though I could almost feel the company’s strategy manifesting in real time. I’ve had the chance to sit in on meetings with Maxwell’s Founder and CEO, where the team has discussed upcoming strategic goals. Having this “real world” experience, and understanding how the work I am doing fits into the bigger picture of what Maxwell is trying to achieve, has been an enlightening and exciting experience.
Working in an industry that I have no prior experience in has engaged me with people who think and operate in ways completely different to what I am accustomed to. It has taken me outside of my comfort zone and given me a new perspective on how businesses — and people — conceptualise ideas. It has made me appreciate the different work styles that people bring to the office. The free flow of information and ideas at Maxwell, and the individual strengths that people have, has catalysed a dynamic work environment where each person (and the office dog, Kelsey) adds important value to the company. There is certainly no employee archetype at Maxwell.
Overall, interning at Maxwell has been a rewarding and insightful experience. I’m fortunate for the opportunity that has been given to me and believe it has improved my professional skills. I look forward to applying what I’ve learned in my future career, as well as following Maxwell’s continuous growth and success. I would highly recommend for future interns looking to improve their skills and be a part of a dynamic, vibrant team to get in touch with the team at Maxwell to discuss opportunities on the horizon.
This post originally appeared on medium.com