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Inke Tirkkonen: The Phase1 trainee programme has allowed me to experience how work in drug safety requires great precision and that it is also highly relevant and meaningful

Inke Tirkkonen, a recent graduate, has been working as a Phase1 trainee in Orion’s Pharmacovigilance team during the summer of 2023. The programme has provided a stepping stone to working life and served as an introduction to the varied nature of work in the field.
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I’m Inke Tirkkonen, one of Orion’s Phase1 trainees during the summer of 2023. I’m working as a Pharmacovigilance Trainee in the Pharmacovigilance Unit in Espoo. I’ve enjoyed the sense of meaning in this work, as pharmacovigilance ensures patient safety throughout the life cycle of a medicine.

In the spring of 2023, I graduated with a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences: Drug Discovery and Development, an international degree programme. The next step for me was to enter working life. I was thrilled to learn that I had been selected as a Pharmacovigilance Trainee at Orion, as the Phase1 programme is an excellent way to make the transition to working life.

I started working in the Pharmacovigilance Unit in mid-May. My summer has consisted of a diverse range of assignments. Together with the other Phase1 trainee in our department, I have been responsible for translating adverse event reports from Finnish into English, responding to requests by partner companies for additional information, and taking care of reconciliation and archiving.

I’ve greatly enjoyed the variety of tasks. Every day is different, and each day involves many different tasks. There is also a brilliant team of people in the Pharmacovigilance Unit. The trainees feel welcome here, and there is always help available.

It’s been amazing to get to know Orion better and find out how pharmaceutical companies work. Although I feel that my studies have given me a good idea of the field, nothing beats practical experience. For example, a visit to tablet production was organised for Phase1 trainees, and it was a truly enriching experience. Through my studies, I already had a general idea of work in drug safety. However, my summer as a Pharmacovigilance Trainee has introduced me to the wide variety of tasks and partners in the Pharmacovigilance Unit, from receiving adverse event reports to entering into agreements with partner companies.

In addition to its varied nature, the work here requires great precision. For example, any adverse events detected must be reported to the authorities within strict deadlines. I feel that my work is relevant and important. Without pharmacovigilance, patient safety would be compromised and medicines would not stay on the market.

I feel that the Phase1 trainee programme has been a good stepping stone to working life. The mentoring and the sense of community have been particularly memorable.

Other Phase1 trainees have provided support and good company. Fun events have also been arranged, such as a summer day at Tuohilampi and after-work activities. I have also been able to learn from other Phase1 trainees about their tasks and the great variety of jobs at Orion.

Group mentoring has provided me with tips for my career, and it’s been interesting to hear about the career paths of professionals working at Orion. I encourage anyone interested in the pharmaceutical industry, no matter what your field, to apply for admission to the Phase1 trainee programme at Orion. 


Best wishes,