In the summer after my second year of university, I became convinced the world of marketing was where I would like to venture into after my graduation. Sourcing for an internship when COVID-19 cases were still extremely unstable in Singapore, I figured doing a remote, overseas internship in a neighboring ASEAN country could be a valuable experience.
Amidst applications and interviews, I came across Docosan’s job description on my school job portal and realized the differentiation it offered. I was immediately drawn in by the social impact Docosan aims to make, and eagerly wanted to be a part of it. Curious and determined, I did preliminary research into the company and sent in my application soon after.
I had an enlightening interview with our Co-Founders Beth and Natalia, and accepted the offer of a PR intern for the summer of 2021 with a period of 10 weeks. The first week provided me with learning opportunities and a glimpse into the health tech world, which included an orientation during the first day and a mentoring session with Charles Rollet, a former Wall Street Journal journalist currently based in Ho Chi Minh City.
The orientation programme on the first day allowed me to deep dive into Vietnam’s fragmented healthcare industry and the way in which Docosan is creating immense value with its service. With overcrowding and long wait lines in public healthcare, Docosan’s service that taps into private clinics and medical professionals became necessary for the population who desire a more efficient service without undermining the quality of medical care.
Over time, I learnt that Docosan derives its massive growth in the health tech industry with its competitive advantage, especially in the fields of sexual health and mental health which remains highly stigmatized in socially conservative Vietnam. Mental health bookings via telemedicine have less than 1% cancellation rate from either doctor or patient, which is a remarkable feat that showcased the needs of the population in these specific fields.
Going onto my duties, I took on the role of both PR and social media marketing for the company’s LinkedIn and Twitter pages. On the PR side, the insightful mentoring session with Charles informed me about journalistic perspectives, allowing me to understand how we can reach them through pitch angles and press releases that are considered “newsworthy”. Soon, I started writing newsroom articles that told Docosan’s story from various standpoints of the company’s operations, while researching on creating media lists.
On the social media side, I devised a weekly plan to identify and experiment with the company’s brand voice – focusing on our growth and specific medical specialties. It took me a few weeks to get into a routine that fits the image and branding that the company was looking for. There were hiccups and mistakes I made along the way, but I had a team of passionate mentors who guided me every step of the way with my trials and errors.
Despite being a fast-paced startup dealing with constant changes in both partnerships and the healthcare system amidst the 4th wave of the pandemic in Vietnam, the tight knit team and the support system that Docosan provided was immensely helpful. I am forever grateful to our Co-founders Beth and Natalia, and our marketing director Hien.
In essence, 10 weeks was short, but I learnt countless valuable skills, both soft and hard, and I cannot be more proud to have interned at Docosan during my summer. As this internship was supported by the Global Talent Ready programme and grant, I was also given the pleasure of getting through an exploratory and language course on the Vietnamese language and culture.
After 10 weeks, I definitely felt that I could have done way more for the company if the timeline allowed it and this was granted, as I decided to continue working part-time for Docosan during my new school semester. The internship was a short period, but I was able to observe the fast growth of the startup and the health tech industry with consistent new launches and partners. This served as a great inspiration, knowing that I can also contribute towards making an impact with better understanding of the industry and by assisting the team in creating a new PR and social media strategy for the 4th quarter.
With increased responsibilities and foresight into the company’s new ventures, I am ready to embark on this journey further with a team of experienced and dedicated Docosan family and strive towards improving Vietnam’s healthcare, and possibly, healthcare in the region for the better.