My COVID-19 SME Internship: Rosie - Airway Medical Ltd

Rosie, who was studying Biochemistry, has written about her recent Digital Marketing internship which was supported by our COVID-19 SME Internship Fund. The aim of this fund was to support local SMEs including charities, social enterprises and start-up who are operating at maximum capacity as they respond to the challenges of Coronavirus, while giving students valuable and meaningful work experience in a difficult economic climate. 


As part of the University of Bristol’s COVID-19 SME Internship Fund, I completed a placement with Airway Medical Ltd (AML), a Bristol-basedmedical device startup. The company produces Suction and Oxygen Therapy equipment such as the Airway Medical Suction Unit (AMSUfor clearing blocked airways in emergency and chronic conditions. 

My role 

Airway clearance is a critical aspect of coronavirus patient management. In response to the global pandemic, AML developed the COVID-19 specific AMSU (CAMSU), a wall-mounted, back-up suction unit for intensive care units. A non-profit venture was launched aiming to provide 3D printed CAMSUs to the NHS free of charge 

The initial Crowdfunder reached a £10,000 milestone and my original assignment was to increase media attention and promote the fundraiser to supply as many devices to hospitals as possible. In the midst of lockdown uncertainty, I felt privileged to join the COVID-19 effort assisting in the provision of a lifesaving invention. 

However, progress was stalled in the face of tightened MHRA regulations and AML had to alter its manufacturing process, moving away from 3D print to meet new medical device guidelines. We made the difficult decision to pause fundraising and my role was adapted towards digital marketing. This was relatively unchartered territory for me and so slightly daunting 

Luckily, the AML team were extremely supportive and the internship provided a great incentive to make use of e-learning tools such as Future Learn, Grow Smart and Google Digital Garage. My day-to-day responsibilities included market research, website management and creating content for social media campaigns including blogs, e-newsletters, infographics and videos. 


The internship was completed remotely, and it was a steep learning curve being inducted into the company and introduced to my responsibilities virtually. Fortunately, as lockdown restrictions eased, I was able to meet the Founding Director Simon in person and see the devices in action 

As a life sciences graduatethe internship provided a fantastic opportunity to develop digital marketing skills and gain valuable work experience during a difficult economic climate. I would strongly recommend the SME Internship Scheme and advise students to take advantage of free online courses to compliment your skills development.

Interested in finding an internship? We are advertising many work experience opportunities on mycareer. 

If you’re struggling with writing applications, you’ll find some useful resources here to help. 

Remember you can maximise the impact from your SME Internship with the Bristol PLUS Award.