LSC students share how their strong communication skills helped them succeed in their summer internships

Over the course of the summer, many Life Sciences Communication students had the opportunity to participate in internships with a variety of organizations, ranging from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the Office of Sustainability here at UW-Madison. With the skills learned from LSC courses, students were able to apply their knowledge to gain practical experience in a variety of job areas, including communications, sales and business, and environmental sustainability. Below we highlight a few of these exciting experiences.

Job area: Communications

Amaya Gatling is a senior studying Life Sciences Communication and Global Health. This summer Amaya spent her summer interning for Health Access Connect – a nonprofit NGO in Uganda that works towards linking Ugandans living in remote areas with healthcare resources. Through this internship, Amaya was able to merge her interests in health communication and interest in health care by creating social media content, drafting grant applications, communication with donors, and taking lead in the Health Access Connect July Walkathon campaign. When asked about how LSC has prepared her for this internship, Amaya notes how LSC courses have influenced her confidence in science writing.

“I took LSC 617 this past fall and it has helped me be confident in communicating about health-related issues in a compelling yet respectful manner. All the LSC classes I’ve taken have helped me sharpen my writing skills and taught me how to research correctly.”

Jocelyn Cao is a master’s student in LSC, who also graduated from LSC’s undergraduate program back in December 2021. This summer Jocelyn spent her summer interning as a Web and Media Development Intern for NASA Langley’s System Analysis and Concepts Directorate. During her internship Jocelyn worked on a variety of communication tasks, including science storytelling, video editing, social media management, and graphic design. Her responsibility was to make the knowledge and work done by NASA aerospace engineers more accessible to the public. Jocelyn attributes a variety of LSC courses to her ability to work as a NASA intern and succeed in her communication duties.

“Every LSC class I’ve ever taken has helped me become an effective science communicator for NASA. For example, LSC 432 taught me how to effectively use social media to communicate science to a non-science public. LSC 625 taught me that audience matters, especially when communicating about scientific risk. LSC 875 taught me visuals are an effective communication tools, especially when discussing complex scientific issues.”

Job area: Sales and Business

Jackson Krull is a senior majoring in Life Sciences Communication with a strategic focus. He is also pursuing certificates in Ag & Life Sciences Business Management, Health Policy, and Integrated Studies in Science & Engineering. Jackson interned for UnitedHealth Care and this summer he learned about processes, enrollments, and determining optional plans/products for consumers. Additionally, he gained a broad exposure to partners of UnitedHealth Group, experience network opportunities, learned technical skills, and conducted needs analyses across diverse consumer populations. When asked how LSC prepared him for this internship, Jackson lists how each LSC course taught him applicable intern skills.

“Having picked the strategic focus [in the LSC major], I’ve learned how to visualize science and technology (LSC 350), integrate the life sciences in social media (LSC 432), marketing (LSC 250), health communication (LSC 617), integrated marketing (LSC 435), and so much more. I have used all these skills during this internship at UnitedHealth Care.”

Claire Michel is a senior majoring in Life Sciences Communication with certificates in Italian and Entrepreneurship. This summer, Claire worked as a Space Analyst intern at Molson Coors Beverage Company. She helped various stores arrange beer and other alcohol beverages in their coolers to optimize category sales for both Molson Coors and the retailer. When asked how LSC has prepared her for this internship Claire mentioned a couple LSC classes, but also explained how LSC will make her a strong candidate for other career opportunities.

“LSC has prepared me for this internship in many ways. LSC 350 taught me how to understand visual communication, including principles of design and perception. LSC 270 taught me strong marketing, promotion skills, and strategic communication. But being an LSC student has prepared me in ways for not only this internship, but all my other career opportunities. I can demonstrate my strong skills in effective communication, marketing, and understand an audience. I highly recommend every UW student take at least one LSC class!”

Job area: Environmental Sustainability

Eliza Lindley is a senior studying Life Sciences Communication and Environmental Science with a certificate in Sustainability. This summer, Eliza was a part of a team of 22 interns focusing on sustainability in all different areas of the UW-Madison campus. Specifically, she was on the Green Labs, Green Athletics, and SustainUW Podcast teams, which means her work included certifying campus research labs, connecting with student-athletes and Athletic Department staff, and hosting and editing podcasts. When asked how LSC prepared her for this internship, Eliza notes how LSC has honed her ability to distill complex topics into more accessible pieces of information.

“Our work at the Office of Sustainability requires extensive collaboration with a wide variety of campus entities. LSC has honed my ability to distill complex topics related to sustainability and make them accessible to our project partners. Plus, taking LSC 314 during my freshman year laid the foundation for the Adobe software skills that I use to edit podcasts.”

Regardless of their internships, students learned that LSC prepared them for careers in the field they chose to pursue this summer. “We are proud to see our students’ applying skills and knowledge gained inside the classroom towards succeeding in their various internships,” says Professor and Chair Dominique Brossard.


Written by: Jocelyn Cao, LSC M.S. ’23
Published: September 2022