Seerat Gill is a graduate student pursuing an MS in Event Management at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. In this post, she tells us more about her internship this spring semester.
Where are you interning and what is your job title?
I am interning at Terrapinn Inc., a global events company that produces tradeshows and conferences across multiple industries. I am working as an Event Development Intern and am primarily responsible for audience development and management.
What projects have you been working on so far?
I work as part of the company’s Life Sciences team and am working on one of their biggest conferences in the US, the World Orphan Drug Congress USA 2022. I am responsible for reaching out to and onboarding potential audiences and guests for the conference, and managing guest communication and registration. I have also been involved with prospecting and onboarding speakers and participants for our Pitch & Partner track and Start-up Zone.
Have there been any challenges in your internship so far? If so, how have you learned to overcome them?
Looking back, one of the biggest challenges I faced early on was to understand the landscape of the orphan disease and drug world. Having limited knowledge about life sciences, healthcare, and especially orphan diseases, it took me a while to grasp who the different players were, what all it entailed and how each of these players fit into the World Orphan Drug Congress. My supervisor was great in giving me a thorough orientation into this industry, answered my questions, guided me when I was confused. Additionally, I started taking a keener interest and read up about these diseases, their treatments and how the industry was evolving. This benefitted how I approached my tasks, put me in a better position to navigate around research and conversations with potential guests and participants. Today, I am able to read a company’s description and know exactly where they would fit in in the orphan disease puzzle.
Another challenge I often find myself stumbling on is being able to write emails “humanly”. The majority of the people I deal with as part of my job are patients of orphan diseases, their families or advocacy groups fighting for better research and treatment for these diseases. As a student, I am so used to writing in a professional and academic style, it takes me a moment to switch to a softer tone of writing. To overcome this, I sought out guidance from my supervisor as well as some colleagues who have previously worked in the same capacity as me. With the help of their tips and references of copies they had written, I have been improving on this front, and find it less daunting to switch my writing tones.
What do you hope to take away from your internship?
One of my biggest takeaways would be improved internal and external communication skills.
My time here has also helped me hone my research skills. It has allowed me to open my mind to experimenting and devising new research strategies to achieve my targets and goals.
I was also introduced to Salesforce, a customer relationship management software, which I hadn’t had the opportunity to use before. Being a software that a lot of companies use, it’s a vital skill I have been able to learn.
What are your future plans?
After graduating, I hope to secure a job as an event manager within the luxury fashion/beauty, or media industries. I look forward to being able to apply my previous work experience, all the knowledge and skills I gained during my time here at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, and my current internship experience to create value in the roles I take on from here on.