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Mona Khatib: Things I've learned as an intern at Reducept

How is it to be an intern at a fast-growing startup like Reducept? The answer depends a lot on what you are looking for.

One sure thing - if you are ready to get your hands dirty with the real projects, then an internship at Reducept will be an exciting opportunity to make it happen.

That’s what Mona Khatib came to experience during her Content Marketing internship. She joined Reducept for 6 months, which we (accidentally) extended to 7 months, and honestly, we wouldn’t let Mona go at all if she wouldn’t need to get back to her studies. 

We asked Mona to tell us a bit about her Reducept journey. 

About Mona Khatib

  • Content marketing intern at Reducept
  • Internship duration: 7 months
  • Last year Communication Science student at Vrije University of Amsterdam
  • Mona never drinks coffee but always brings fresh croissants to the office

Why did you choose to do your internship at Reducept?

I chose to do my internship at Reducept because it stood out from all the other positions I had seen, and its mission really intrigued me and spoke to me personally. At the time, my mother had just got diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and we had a lot of questions surrounding the ifs, hows and whats of chronic pain. I considered this a massive learning opportunity. 

What does your daily work look like?

My daily workday at Reducept consists of a variety of tasks that look different every day. On a regular day, I start with checking the socials (Instagram and Facebook) for any comments or questions our followers may have for Reducept. Once I’m up to date, I go to Monday.com to see which tasks are pending on my side. This could be writing, editing and publishing blogs to the website, reaching out to professionals or patients for interviews and success stories, creating social media content, putting together newsletters, etc.

On Tuesdays, I spend my day doing research for my mandatory internship research paper. On the four other days of the week, I will have meetings with my supervisor, other team members, ambassadors, and sometimes external parties. 

Backstage photo

What part of your internship was the most exciting for you?

The most exciting part of my internship was getting the opportunity to introduce and launch my own project - The 30 Days: Bevrijd van pijn challenge. This was a 30-day long programme displayed on social media which was put together for individuals with chronic pain to help them understand, manage and reduce their pain through a large variety of exercises and materials. This allowed me to put my planning and social skills to the test in a real-life setting as it was necessary for me to plan and write out every activity and Instagram post prior to the challenge.

I also needed to research and reach out to several guest speakers to take part in the challenge. This required extra attention to ensure the best possible experience for both the speaker as well as the participants. This project came together with many challenges and obstacles on the way which needed to be addressed quickly in order for the programme to run smoothly. This was a major learning experience which I am very grateful for. 

Reducept team in the office

How would you describe the Reducept team, your colleagues?

The Reducept team is a very unique group of people who are very different yet very similar to each other in many ways. The uniqueness lies in the fact that everyone has their own speciality which they are very good at but simultaneously love to learn from those around them. The fact that the team is quite small, makes the relationship between team members much more personal and intimate. At Reducept, you are more than colleagues: a small family I would say. 

What are the top 3 challenges you faced during your internship?

The top 3 challenges I faced during my internship were:

  1. Sticking to working hours. This was a challenge for me because working from home for me meant: turning my room into a home office, and so I often struggled with “leaving my work at the workplace”.  This led to often working until 7-8 pm rather than sticking to the usual work schedule. I overcame this by putting reminders on my phone that the working hours are over and scheduling other activities for later. 
  2. Work-life balance. Similar to the first point, I often used weekends to finish off something I had hoped to finish off on Friday or decided to headstart on a task I was planning to start on Monday.  I constantly had to remind myself that my days off are needed and that it is okay to finish off a task on Monday that I had started on Friday. 
  3. Keeping up with my research paper. For many students, this may seem unreasonable because the research paper is the main purpose of the internship. However, I found a lot more joy and purpose in my daily tasks, which led me to prioritize them over research and report writing. I overcame this by dedicating one day a week to my research in which I would not do any other work-related tasks. 

What skills did you advance thanks to your internship?

This internship taught me many valuable lessons and skills. One major skill which I had developed was creative thinking. Content planning and creation require a lot of creativity, which is challenging if your team is small. Therefore, it was important for me to think independently and find inspiration in other content or by combining ideas.

Another skill that I worked on was writing. Towards the beginning of my internship, I wrote a blog about phantom pain and virtual reality, which turned out to be too academic and didn’t fit the brand voice. I had to unlearn some rules and guidelines that I learned at school to fit the audience I was targeting. At the end of my internship, I could write articles for the blog using simple yet playful language. 

Mona greenscreen

What do you wish you knew before starting your internship?

I wish I knew more about how much time and effort the planning stage of content creation takes. Sometimes it would take me weeks of planning before executing an idea. One example of this is setting up the webinars with guest speakers which takes a lot of time to find the right topic, moment and people to all come together at one point in time. Similarly, the planning of content for social media takes many hours and trial and error.   

I sometimes spent my working days just reading about social media marketing and researching effective strategies to implement.  

Who would you recommend to do the internship at Reducept? 

I would recommend this internship to any creative, open-minded individual who is genuinely interested in learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge surrounding the healthcare sector. I personally never knew how passionate I was about health care until I started working closely with patients and individuals who suffer from a health problem.

This internship is certainly not the best if you are looking for an easy company to write your research paper at while not doing much work yourself. Doing your internship at an innovative, fast-growing start-up like Reducept means working hard and taking care of your responsibilities every day. However, this experience comes with an extremely rewarding feeling which most definitely makes it all worthwhile. 

What are your plans after the internship?

Reducept team

My plans for the future have slightly shifted after my internship at Reducept. Initially, I planned on following a psychology and creative arts master track to pursue my career as an Art Therapist. Although this is still part of my long-term plan, I have now decided to broaden my horizons to the general healthcare sector by studying Health Education and Promotion. This programme is focused on how to address individuals' health problems, why they engage in unhealthy behaviour, how to motivate them to change this behaviour and discover the right strategies to do so.

And, of course, I want to return to Reducept in the summer to continue my learning experience whilst completing my master degree.

Are you excited and want to become our next super intern? Send your CV and a short motivation note to work@reducept.com. You can always send us an open application or check our current open position on our LinkedIn.

Mona Khatib: Things I've learned as an intern at Reducept