“Not charity, but real opportunities”
- Paid positions from six to twelve months in corporations
- No risk from condition disclosure
- Coaching, assistance and progress reporting
The European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) has this month officially started its “Believe and Achieve” programme making paid internships with important businesses available to young people with MS across Europe.
“We’ve always said that people with MS are not asking for charity, but for opportunities”, says Project Coordinator Emma Rogan.
“EMSP and our corporate partners are now offering those opportunities. In a first phase, we’ve made available 15 positions within national branches of a major international pharmaceutical company, Novartis, and a global biotechnology company, Biogen Idec. The duration varies between six and twelve months.”
The first two “Believe and Achieve” internships have already started in mid-January, with EMSP’s corporate partner Novartis.
Anna Zaghi is working with the Customer Marketing Head in the Neuroscience Department, at the company’s headquarters near Milano, Italy.
“This internship means a lot to me because I know that I will work in a setting in which I won’t be afraid to disclose my disease: my employers are aware of my condition and they know that once a month I need to go to the hospital for treatment, and it’s up to me whether to disclose the disease to my colleagues”, said Anna.
“Most importantly, this is my first step into the labour market, a chance to show what I can really do in the workplace. I expect to improve my skills and competences in a field which is new for me. I am looking forward to learning a lot about the corporate sector, in particular the position of the company in relation with other stakeholders, such as patient organisations and institutions, within the framework of customer care policies.
I’ll be mainly involved in projects about patients’ compliance to a specific treatment. I am fully committed and I’ll do my best to contribute to improving the quality of life of people with MS, from my position in the company.”
Ionna Christodoulidou is working in Project Management within the Neuroscience Business Department at the company’s offices in Athens, Greece.
"This placement allows me to become a productive member of the society by showing that my disease is not an obstacle to what I am capable of doing. In addition, this internship is directly associated to my recent studies”, said Ioanna.
The first week was marvelous. Even though I am in a new environment, I didn’t feel for a minute stressed or anxious. All my colleagues have been very helpful and friendly. But the fact that influenced me most positively is that everyone is treating me as an equal member though they know my condition.
My expectation about the months ahead is to successfully fulfill my assignment and I hope that the friendly environment will be preserved throughout my internship.”
Corporate partner Biogen Idec is also nearing completion of interviews to bring the first interns on board in the near future.
Project Coordinator Emma Rogan calls out to all interested companies and young people to join and share the journey of “Believe and Achieve”.
“We are seeking more businesses who believe in putting ability before disability. And, of course, we are kindly inviting applications from young people with MS who want to start their careers in inclusive work environments!”
“Believe and Achieve” is currently active in eight European countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
How to apply
In order to apply, visit the project’s page on EMSP’s website and see the role descriptions.