Account Director, Caitlin Henderson works in healthcare communications with pharmaceutical companies on disease awareness. After being nominated and then enrolling on the Hyper Island Apprenticeship program, we got her thoughts and insights into what the program can offer organisations looking to upskill their employees.
A female Hyper Island Apprenticeship program alumnus

Caitlin Henderson, Account Director and Hyper Island Apprenticeship alumnus

What led you to the Leadership Apprenticeship at Hyper Island?

I grew up in South Africa and moved to the UK where I went on to study Media and Communications at University . Currently I’m in the PR & CC team at Havas Life Medicom; a role that I’ve held for 2.5 years. Alongside working on disease awareness campaigns, I also create medical congress materials and social media plans. I became aware of the Leadership Apprenticeship program at Hyper Island when I was put forward by the Director of the PR team whilst I was in the role of Senior Account Manager. It was during the training that I was promoted to Account Director.

Tell us about your current role and its impact

After losing my PR job in the food, travel and hospitality industry during the pandemic, I looked to move into an industry that was more sustainable, but more importantly, felt rewarding. I have no medical background, so I feel very lucky to be able to work on campaigns learning about rare diseases and new drugs that can impact patients’ lives. My small contribution can help drive awareness and hopefully provide the tools for patients to make informed decisions regarding their health.

A role like this makes every day feel exciting and new, as I’m always learning on the job. We drive communications to educate doctors as well as patients, and for me it feels like I can contribute to accelerating change and doing something meaningful. I look forward to advancing my career at Havas, working on more rare disease campaigns in order to educate myself on these and work towards raising awareness via creative communications to improve the quality of lives for those suffering.

How was your experience of Hyper Island’s Apprenticeship program?

The Leadership Apprenticeship program at Hyper Island was really interesting. It was great to have dedicated time outside of my job role to take a step back and learn my own strengths and weaknesses at work, techniques to deal with challenging situations, and theories to understand emotional intelligence to use in everyday project management with different personalities.

The program fostered a great inclusive environment and I enjoyed learning from others, who I would never have met, that work in the wider Havas network. My coach Adam was a great mentor. Not only was he really supportive, but he also made every training day engaging and was always available to help. I feel his guidance and support in the run up to the assessment day helped me secure a distinction. The different check-in techniques made everyone pay attention and feel enthusiastic to join. Mixing up the teams so we got to network and work with different personalities and strengths certainly kept the apprenticeship interesting.


What opportunities has your training opened up?


I’ve been able to put a lot of the processes into practice and use the learning tools we were given within my team at Havas. I’m lucky to work with people who are always open to learning new ways of working. My line manager was a great support with checking in on how it was going and by becoming a line manager myself, I had more opportunities to utilise some of the key learnings from the module.


What will you do with the learning takeaways from this Apprenticeship program?


I feel I have the tools needed to approach difficult situations and enough modules to refer back to when I need guidance. As a leader you are always learning from those around you, I hope I continue to build my leadership skills by empowering and encouraging those I work with on ways to lead.

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Article updated on: 13 March 2024