In the last year of her Naturopathy degree, Christine Lennon dreaded the question, “What are you going to do when you finish?” As it turns out, an internship in her final year answered the question for her.
Christine didn’t start her studies with a clear career goal in mind. “I chose Naturopathy because I was interested in it,” she says. “I’d been working in London and returned home to Brisbane with an illness that just persisted. One day a Naturopath friend suggested I make some changes to my diet. I took her advice and recovered quickly. I’d never considered that something I was eating could make me sick in that way. It was an eye-opening moment for me.”
After doing some research of her own, Christine found she connected with herbal medicine and decided to study at Endeavour.
“The course was much more ‘sciencey’ than I expected but that was a good thing!” she says, “I come from a family of doctors and nurses, so I was pleased the course had a strong scientific base. I loved chemistry, biochemistry and especially herbal medicine pharmacology and pharmacognosy. That’s when I learned how to best formulate medicines.”
During her studies, Christine worked part-time in hospitality and made the most of any internship opportunities. She spent 12 weeks at the Brisbane Natural Health Clinic, working one day in the dispensary and one day observing in the clinic. “It was so helpful to see how the Naturopaths talk to their clients and so see how they formulated their herbs over time.”
In her third year, Christine discovered an internship with BioCeuticals, which supplies practitioner-only complementary medicines. She didn’t apply because she wanted to complete Endeavour’s Summer Semester. After waiting a whole year, she went for it and was one of only six students selected for the opportunity nationwide. “On Thursday, I finished my last exam in Brisbane and on Monday, I started nine weeks of full-time internship in Sydney,” Christine says.
“It was hard work but such a valuable experience. During the internship, you develop your own product. I chose to create a product that supports children with behavioural disorders. I managed the entire life-cycle – from coming up with the concept, determining how to make it, checking the product’s compliance with TGA regulations and working out how to educate others about it. In the end, I was exhausted. It was such a steep learning curve,” Christine explains. “The experience showed me so many possible career paths and I knew for sure that I wanted to get into product development.”
Christine had applied for about 20 jobs with various companies when a spot opened up at BioCeuticals for a Product Development Manager. After four interviews, BioCeuticals offered her the position. “After my internship, I knew how to show the team what I was capable of. I am so thrilled to be here with a company that’s growing, and that promotes staff personal development. I’m much more confident in my career path now!” Christine laughs.
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