As my end-date is quickly approaching (August 5th), I was asked to do a review of my time here at GAC…
This summer was an unbelievable experience for me. I was living away from home, halfway across the country in a city that is a conference rival to Penn State (Northwestern, Evanston), and only a short train ride away from Chicago. More importantly, I had the chance to work alongside some of the most intelligent people I have ever met at a boutique consulting firm located in Lake Bluff, IL.
What I enjoyed most about my time at Giles & Associates Consultancy (GAC) was the welcoming and hardworking atmosphere. GAC is comprised of a team of about 40 consultants, but about six are in the office daily. This small group is able to accomplish complex projects on a more intimate level because there are not as many barriers like there would be in a large company.
Right on my first day, I was given three main projects that I would be working on throughout the summer, but that quickly turned into a double-digit amount of projects. I enjoyed how the team kept me busy, taught me the reigns on consulting, and continued to give me increasingly challenging projects. Interns at large firms are usually tasked with getting coffee, making copies, filing papers, etc. I feel bad for those individuals. They can say that they had an internship with whomever, but they left without learning more than they came in with. I, on the other hand, am departing with valuable experience.
One task that sticks out beyond the rest is GAC’s expert panel that will be hosted for a client in mid-August. On our Monday morning meeting, called the “Client Weekly,” Lisa Giles, CEO, told the team that we had lost a panelist, and were in a time crunch to find more. She came to me and asked for my help, looking at various ACOs and IDNs throughout the nation searching for the head of the physician practice. That next week, she came back and told us she had secured seven panelists to come to Chicago for the project. What I enjoyed about this was being able to see what the firm was like in the type of situation where we needed to get something done pronto, and I was able to help out.
A large part of my time this summer was spent looking at ways to enhance GAC’s visibility in the social sphere. GAC already had a LinkedIn account, but it was underutilized. I viewed various competitors’ pages, trying to find a way to increase our followers on our own site. What I found in the end was that the number of posts a company has is directly related to the number of followers they have. Additionally, the more completed your page is, company or individual profile, the higher your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be, increasing the visibility of the company. So far, the follower count is up almost 10%.
I assisted executives on many client-based projects for large pharmaceutical companies. For one company, I investigated their pipeline drugs in Phase II and Phase III to see what analysts were saying the market and sales potential was for the drug after launch. It was more difficult to find information on Phase II drugs because there is not enough clinical data on them for an analyst to predict their impact. Instead, I looked at their clinical trials to see where the drug was in that phase, what the end points were, and what the criteria were for the individuals enrolled. My research on the pipeline drugs was then added to a PowerPoint deck that was later used in a presentation.
As my internship approaches its end, I am ecstatic to say that it was what I hoped it would be and more. One thing that would have made it better would have been the ability to go to a client meeting to encounter the connections the consultants had face-to-face with the individual with whom they were working. If I was able to stay in Chicago until the Expert Panel, I would have been able to attend, which would be an invaluable experience. Unfortunately, however, my last day is a week prior to that date. I have very much enjoyed my time while at GAC and will be forever thankful for the opportunities they have given me.