July 7, 2022

Embracing young talent and why culture counts

Today (July 15th) is World Youth Skills Day 2022! This day was founded by the United Nations and is regarded as a day to “celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship” (United Nations, 2022).

Here at Talking Medicines, nurturing young talent and providing them with useful employment skills for the future is extremely important.

Welcoming young people into our team aligns with two of our four company values in particular…

Innovation: To us, innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and involving young people in our everyday operations allows us to benefit from having a fresh pair of eyes see what we do from a different perspective, thus further accelerating our levels of creativity and energy. This equips us with new ideas and a more open-minded approach in our decision making.

Community: Talking Medicines is run by an experienced team of entrepreneurs with combined sector expertise in life sciences and marketing. Apart from giving young people the opportunity to learn more from us about what we do, we recognise that there are many valuable things we can learn from them. As a result, young people are welcomed into a positive learning environment and work culture where their opinions are valued, and they interact with and are supported by all members of our team.

Why is a positive work culture so important? (Agarwall, 2018)

  • Increases teamwork
  • Higher levels of motivation
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Increases productivity and performance levels
  • Reduces employee stress

Source: Forbes

At Talking Medicines, we employ university graduates and work with many young people in school and higher education. Here are some of the ways that we involve young people in what we do and how they have been a key driver in our success.

Our Annotation Team

Our team of annotators play a key part in the behind-the-scenes operations of our PatientMetRx® data platform, which utilises AI to allow healthcare marketers to access on-demand insights into patient experiences of prescription medicines. Many members of our annotation team are school leavers and university students.

Our annotators have a very important job when it comes to the performance of our data platform. They take on the responsibility of the machine learning of PatientMetRx®. They seek out good data to feed to the model in order for it to learn how to identify the patient voice and what patients are saying online about the medicines that they are using. This is very important as it trains our platform to filter out unnecessary information and discover actionable patient insights.

This work is very beneficial for the young people in our annotation team. It provides them with work experience in a business environment and allows them to develop useful skills such as meeting deadlines, taking ownership of their work and being self-sufficient, while also working within a team environment. Our data analysts work closely with our annotators and have weekly calls with them in which they are given the opportunity to present their findings on the projects that they have been working on.

Saltire Scholar Programme

Talking Medicines is involved in the Saltire Scholar Programme, a programme of internships run by Entrepreneurial Scotland which works with Scottish universities to give undergraduate students the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience.

2022 is the first year that Talking Medicines has participated in the Saltire Scholar Programme. This has allowed us to be able to provide a university student with the fantastic opportunity to gain work experience in a professional setting, increase their employment prospects and play a part in the mission to help “find, fuel and spark the next generation of leaders for Scotland” (Glasgow Caledonian University, 2022).

This year’s Saltire Scholar is Corrie Richardson, an International Business and Modern Languages student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow who is currently working within our Sales Team as a Product Commercial Growth Intern. In order to make sure that Corrie gets the most out of her experience, the team has taken the time to discuss with her what she personally wants to achieve from her time here. From this, measurable objectives have been created in order to help her track her personal progress over the coming weeks.

Graduate Employees

Olivia Lane, our current Business Development Executive, joined us as a university graduate in September 2020. Olivia originally started her time at Talking Medicines as Project Intern in summer during the height of the pandemic. She continued her work on the project throughout her last year at Pearson College London where she studied Business Management.

Upon graduating from university, Olivia started working full-time in her current position. The Talking Medicines team was smaller when she started, which allowed for a very hands-on experience in which she could get involved in everything that goes behind running a start-up. This also allowed her to get more one-to-one time with her colleagues to get their support and learn on the job.

In order to make sure she was equipped with extra skills and to increase her confidence in being in a graduate position, Talking Medicines invested in her personal development through providing her with extra training and courses.

Almost two years later, Olivia plays a key role in the marketing and outbound sales of our PatientMetRx® data platform.

To find out more about World Youth Skills Day 2022, take a look at: https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-youth-skills-day



Agarwal. 2018. How To Create A Positive Workplace Culture. [online] Forbes. Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2018/08/29/how-to-create-a-positive-work-place-culture/?sh=37a309242727> [Accessed 4 July 2022].

Glasgow Caledonian University | Scotland, UK. 2022. Saltire Scholar programme. [online] Available at: <https://www.gcu.ac.uk/currentstudents/getinvolved/commongoodaward/commongoodopportunities/allstudents/saltirescholars> [Accessed 4 July 2022].

United Nations. 2022. World Youth Skills Day | United Nations. [online] United Nations. Available at: <https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-youth-skills-day> [Accessed 4 July 2022].

Image from Shutterstock ID: 1032426265