Thinking about an internship for summer 2023 may seem like a long way away. But Eric Bowman, Class of 2023, knows that the early bird gets the worm. In this four-part series, Fox students share their experiences with summer internships and provide valuable advice for their peers.
Eric Bowman, Pharmaceutical Sales Intern at Eli Lilly
A fourth-year student at the Fox School, Bowman is someone that could be considered a natural at sales. Although originally a major in supply chain management, Bowman transitioned to marketing quickly into his college journey after starting an online business selling clothes and realizing his passion for sales. Through his marketing degree, Bowman’s focus is on learning about the best ways to reach and engage different groups of consumers.
As a student worker at the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD), Bowman is well-positioned to advise his peers on how to secure a summer internship. He recommends Fox students participate in various Student Professional Organizations (SPOs), as they are an excellent resource for career development, networking and learning about career opportunities.
In his own search, Bowman used Handshake to narrow down different sales and marketing-related internships to apply for. When recounting the key to his success in landing an internship at Eli Lilly, Bowman emphasized the importance of planning ahead for the summer:
“To get an internship that you’re really interested in, you should start searching and applying as early as September and October. Recommendations from the CSPD really helped me learn a lot and get on top of the internship search. I applied for my summer internship at Eli Lilly way back in the last week of September.”
Bowman had done his research—he knew that Eli Lilly was a reputable company where he could gain valuable experience—so he was ecstatic when he was offered a role as a pharmaceutical sales intern.
Although he’s always been a hard worker, Bowman recalls how learning new work tasks and transitioning to an eight-hour work day made his first week at Eli Lilly especially challenging.
“College is a lot of work, but it’s spaced out throughout the day. The grind of having an eight-hour workday, 40 hours each week, is a lot for someone who’s never done it before. The first few days were difficult, but being able to manage my time and expectations made it a lot easier to find my groove and keep up with the fast pace.”
As an intern, Bowman was given the opportunity to perform the work of an actual pharmaceutical sales representative and spent his workday traveling and talking with different medical professionals about their pharmaceutical needs. Bowman’s outgoing and personable nature seems like a perfect fit for the role, and he is hopeful his summer internship may transition to a full-time job at Eli Lilly post-graduation.
Bowman encourages students who are searching for internships to network: “I’ve found that most people love talking with others about their job and are usually willing to tell people about what they do. If there’s somewhere you’re interested in working for, consider informally reaching out to a representative on a platform like LinkedIn to learn more about the company and different roles.”