We’re excited to announce that Alon Blumgart, a student from one of Laureate Australia’s health education providers Southern School of Natural Therapies (SSNT), has won the BioCeuticals product development challenge.
BioCeuticals is Australia’s leading provider of nutritional and therapeutic practitioner-only supplements. Renowned for manufacturing and delivering high-quality integrative medicines to healthcare practitioners, BioCeuticals aims to consistently raise the standards of natural-based therapies.
Alon initially won a place on the company’s competitive 8-week internship program which exposes interns to the research, education, marketing and sales of a new product from conception to delivery to the market place.
We caught up with Alon to find out about his experience and we also had time to speak with Danielle Newham, BioCeuticals Learning & Development manager…
Why did you apply for the BioCeuticals summer internship?
Alon: I heard about the internship during class one day. I visited the BioCeuticals website and discovered that the internship was based around product development, which is an interest of mine. I was very curious to see what makes “practitioner only” brands better than other brands. I also wanted to learn more about how supplements are manufactured and formulated, as well as the TGA regulations around formulating new products. I never thought I would get the internship when I applied!
What was involved in the 8 week internship?
Alon: The first 4 weeks of the internship saw me working in the various departments (sales, marketing, product development etc.). Each week in our teams (3 teams of 2 interns), depending on what department we had just worked in, we had certain challenges that we had to present to the various heads of departments. Then, for the last 4 weeks of the internship, we had to come up with a product idea in our teams and complete all the research, sales, marketing, business plan, TGA regulations etc, for our designed product. We had to do everything that is involved with bringing a product to market in a very short period. LOTS of work! It was tough because we were doing all the work across the various departments.
At the end of the internship, we presented our product concepts along with the business plan, to all the heads of the various departments who were the judges. Quite nerve-racking!
Can you tell us about the product that Alon developed?
Danielle: Due to privacy reasons, I am unable to disclose the exact details of the product. Alon and Kelly in particular showed attention to detail when presenting their final product concept, embracing the skills taught throughout the program to develop a presentation which would most successfully bring their product concept to market.
What do you plan on doing with your winnings?
Alon: The internship was unpaid so it was nice to receive a cash prize at the end of it. I put it all into my savings. It was also nice to receive some free products for a start-up dispensary, a letter of recommendation on my CV and a free ticket to the research symposium in April!
What kind of edge did the winner have in the development challenge and what were you looking for in the winner?
Danielle: All candidates who applied for the internship were of an extremely high calibre and were subject to an intensive selection process. The final six candidates chosen demonstrated a tenacity for the complimentary medicine industry as well as an eagerness to learn and experience life within the BioCeuticals team. The internship program itself required candidates to practice research skills, presentation skills, communication skills, punctuality and attention to detail. Alon was partnered with Kelly-Jo Griffith a Naturopathic medicine student who travelled from Adelaide to be part of the program. Alon and Kelly’s concept was on trend and fulfilled the set criteria, which we determined would enable the successful launch of this product. Due to privacy reasons, I am unable to disclose the exact details of the product.