The Annals of African Surgery journal https://www.annalsofafricansurgery.com/, has for the past 15 years served as the premier of African surgical read, disseminating high quality manuscripts that inform surgical practice both in Africa and globally. As part of its goal to support young early career researchers, the journal set up an internship program which has given a good basis for the journal's interns to further progress in their research as well as editorial works. Below are some success stories from the 2021/2022 interns of the journal.
Vincent Kipkorir, Former Editorial intern
The Annals of African Surgery internship program greatly underpinned my journey into Peer Review and Editorial Work. Learning the intricacies of running a journal and getting to appreciate the pivotal role peer review systems play in enhancing the quality and quantity of research output gave life into my editorial career. After completing my AAS internship, I set out to apply the valuable skillset I had acquired from the journal, with an aim to further research output and engagement especially in undergraduate medical students. I currently seat as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of African Medical students, Associate Editor at the International Journal of Medical Students, Managing Editor at the Anatomy Journal of Africa and Reviewer Board Member of the International Journal of Clinical Investigations and Case Reports. This is my success story, wholly accredited to the Annals of African Surgery internship program for the fundamental role it played and still does in defining the trajectory of my research and professional journey.
Fiona Nyaanga, Former Editorial intern
Interning at the Annals of African Surgery proved to be a very exciting opportunity as it led me to learning useful day to day skills such as website management and administrative expertise all of which are important for any budding adult because as we progress, we will always find ourselves in these somewhat vague roles. However, beyond preparing me for the job market in that way, I think that the most invaluable skill set I earned at my internship was preparing my research work for publication as I got to sit on the editors’ and reviewers’ side of publishing and learnt the importance of publishing soon and the way in which to organize my manuscript. This led me into publishing my first scholarly works and it has been an upward trajectory since then. With better preparation on how to present scientific information, I wrote my first grant proposal which ended up being successful. On top of this, I had the chance to interact with amazing faculty members who challenged me to reach for the skies based on their personal achievements. This internship was truly and continues to be a great opportunity for young researchers who intend to build their skill set in terms of scientific writing.
Joan Ruguru Kimani, Former Social media intern
Internship at the Annals of African Surgery has been an amazing experience. This was my first real job, rendering an allowance into a bank account! I had to open an account at this juncture, something that I learnt I should have done earlier for savings! I learnt a lot about professional social media management, now that this is an official surgical brand. It also tested my time management skills, being a final year medical student. I managed it all, learning how to fragment and organize my time well. I also made valuable connections, meeting the creme de la creme in the surgical community. That was invaluable, as nowadays life is about “Technical know who”. That is something that I will forever carry with me. Carrying out tasks in groups gave me great experience. As an intern, I had to do the heavy lifting and organize the busy surgeons, ensuring that work was all done. That gave me great supervisory experience. What gave me most anxiety is making the monthly presentations. Thank you to AAS, I can now make stellar presentations. Sadly, you can only be an intern once at The Annals of African Surgery, I wish I could come back!
Mohamed Onyango, Former Editorial intern
This editorial internship has been pivotal in kickstarting my journey into the publishing world. Through this internship, I have had the chance to interact with international competent editors who guided me through the publication process. During this one-year internship, I had the opportunity to attend and present in regional and international conferences and network with professionals in various surgical fields. As I begin my duties as associate editor of the Journal of African Medical Students, I will forever remain grateful for the mentorship, support and guidance the editorial team provided me with.
Joy Mueni Muli, Former Editorial intern
My experience as an intern at the Annals of Surgery was insightful. Getting behind the scenes of the journal was interesting; especially seeing the intricate and meticulous work it takes to run a journal and coordinate from author to published paper. Most memorable was the admin checklist one needed to run for papers as they landed on the ScholarOne system. It initially felt like a daunting task as it needed attention to a lot of detail, but I slowly learnt that working on something frequently and creating habits around it increased my efficiency. This is a habit I have since passed on to the rest of my life. Working as an intern also led me to meet fellow young-minded people with an interest in research. This spurred me on to continue my research even while doing my medical internship year which is quite hectic. I also honed my organisation and graphic design skills in my tasks and am grateful to what the internship program has taught me.