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Secerna's 2023 intern: Kimberly Munemo in profile

Secerna's 2023 intern: Kimberly Munemo in profile

News Team news 23/08/2023

Meet Kimberly Munemo, a University of York undergraduate studying for an integrated Masters in Biotechnology and Microbiology. About to embark on her final year at the University, Kimberly has completed an 8-week summer internship at Secerna LLP as Digital Development Officer. Discover details about her role working alongside attorneys as part of the business development and marketing team, and learn more about what she achieved while at Secerna.


What attracted you to the position?

With only a couple months left of my penultimate year at university, I decided to search for a summer internship. I had applied for a few and been for interviews before I came across this role at Secerna. Around that time, I had developed a budding interest in the world of intellectual property (IP) and was exploring the prospect of training to becoming a patent attorney after I graduated. I knew that an internship at a leading York-based IP firm would be the perfect opportunity to discover what a career in a patent law firm might entail.


What brought you to Secerna?

As a well-respected, successful boutique firm headquartered in York city centre and boasting a reputation of professionalism and technical expertise with global connections, Secerna certainly has much to admire. Secerna's size was a factor I especially valued. I felt I could try my hand at a wider range of tasks within a supportive environment, and also that I would be able to make a more visibly significant difference to Secerna through digital development compared to at a larger firm. 


What did the internship involve?

My role at Secerna was Digital Development Officer, working on an SEO project. This involved refreshing the website by reviewing and replacing images, and creating meta descriptions to help enhance the visibility of the website in search engines.

I was tasked with creating social media content, which included creating visual content and writing articles about things like the prominence of IP at Wimbledon and regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the European Union.

I also used market research points I had accumulated over the 8 weeks, as well as my own strategic deliberation and creativity, to propose SEO recommendations to the Business Development Lead, Chris Claxton.


What have you gained from your internship?

From this internship, I gained a better understanding of the pivotal role that business development and marketing plays in the success of an IP law firm. I was constantly presented with opportunities to showcase and develop my skills, while also appreciating the realities of working in an IP law firm, such as meeting tight deadlines and working on multiple things at a time. 

Over the 8 weeks I got to speak to so many different members of the team on various occasions, from the trainee patent attorneys and associates to partners Charlotte and Jason. I was even able to see the work the Executive and Formalities team do and gained an appreciation for how crucial they are to keeping Secerna running so smoothly.


What was the best thing about your internship?

I thoroughly enjoyed researching intellectual property law and looking up patents for my articles. Through this, I learned so much more about IP generally and in life sciences specifically. These articles challenged me as I was writing about patent law, which I didn’t know much about. This meant I had to read around the subject extensively and gave me the chance to consult attorneys of all experience levels who were happy to review my work and offer valuable feedback and advice.

Though a tedious process, adding and updating meta descriptions also proved very rewarding. Looking at the analytics and seeing a positive trend towards increased engagement as a direct result of my work was incredibly affirming. This internship gave me the freedom to take initiative and really spread my wings.


Why choose IP?

Though naturally still fascinated by research and innovation in my field, I am less inclined towards a career in research and find a lot of value in a profession in which I can influence my field of expertise in a different yet still meaningful way.

I realise that science is not a standalone entity, but one that intersects and overlaps other instrumental facets of society, including law and business. In this way, intellectual property law appeals to my interests, as I would be involved in protecting brilliant inventions, thereby propelling innovation across the globe and enhancing the world we live in.


Are you considering a career in IP?

I am absolutely considering a career in IP. The world of intellectual property is so dynamic and patent law is a profession with a clear trajectory and scope for development. I am always eager to learn new skills, so learning the law and training to qualify as a patent attorney is a challenge I look forward to undertaking. Thanks to the wonderful team at Secerna for making my experience so special!