Hi, I’m Kimberly. I’m studying for an MBiol in Biotechnology and Microbiology at the University of York, and I’ve just completed a summer internship at Secerna LLP. My role at Secerna was Digital Development Officer. I worked alongside the attorneys as part of the business development and marketing team.
In this blog, I’ll tell you about the work I did during my internship at Secerna, what I got out of the role, and why you should consider applying for an internship while studying at the University of York.
What attracted me to the position?
I used the University’s careers platform, Handshake, to look for internships and had applied for a few and been for interviews before I spotted the role at Secerna. Quickly, I completed the York Internships application form and was contacted by their team who had reviewed my application and provided helpful feedback.
I have a budding interest in the world of intellectual property and want to become a patent attorney once I graduate. I didn’t have any previous experience working in an intellectual property law firm, so I knew that the internship at Secerna would be the ideal opportunity to discover more about what life as a patent attorney entails and how a company like Secerna works.
Around the time I applied for this position, I’d been appointed Press and Publicity Officer of the University Lacrosse Club, so had some understanding of digital marketing and how to create and publish content to capture an audience’s attention. Coupled with my interest in intellectual property, I knew that the digital development internship at Secerna would be the perfect fit for me.
What did the internship involve?
During my time at Secerna, I worked on an SEO project. This involved accessing the back end of the website, reviewing and replacing images, and creating meta descriptions for Secerna’s webpages to help enhance the visibility of the website in search engines. I analysed audience engagement, and used market research I had conducted, as well as my own creativity and strategic thinking, to propose SEO recommendations.
I was also tasked with creating social media content, which included writing articles for the company website. These articles challenged me as I was writing about intellectual property, which I didn’t know much about. This led me to read around the subject extensively and gave me the chance to consult attorneys – Trainees, Senior Associates, and Partners – to review my work and offer valuable feedback.
Secerna also provided me with the opportunity to shadow the attorneys and see what they do on a daily basis. This was brilliant! I got to observe how varied their job is, and what I can expect if I am to become a patent attorney in the future. As well as this, I was able to see the work the Executive and Formalities team do and gained an appreciation for how vital they are to keeping the business running smoothly.
What have I gained from my internship?
This internship has given me an incredible level of insight into a career in intellectual property – much more than I would have gained from just reading about it on the internet! It was nice to experience the pace of the working day alongside the attorneys and I was able to build meaningful connections with the team. Overall, I have developed a much richer understanding of what goes into running a business like Secerna. Both Partners have been generous in giving their time to discuss their roles individually with me and explaining how the team fits together, keeping the business well in order.
The team has been amazing in supporting me, giving feedback, and validating my work. I would encourage any student to apply for an internship – it has massively boosted my confidence in my own abilities!