When I first found out I had a placement at AstraZeneca (AZ), I thought I had a pretty good idea of what my days would be – hours and hours working in the lab, writing up experiments and poring over graphs. Maybe, I thought, I can improve my communication skills by presenting data to my team. But even with the unexpected shakeup of lockdown and coronavirus, I didn’t realise just how oversimplified my idea of a lab-based placement was.
I am a fan of lab work, but anyone who knows me well can tell you that one of my favourite pastimes is admin. I have no shame in admitting that I’m the person who finds joy in organising an inbox, or drawing up spreadsheets to track a team’s progress through a big task. It’s a strange hobby, but it’s satisfying, and so when I saw adverts to recruit a new AZ early talent committee, I could hardly not apply for the role of secretary. I had no professional secretarial experience, but it sounded so me!
Even if you’re unsure about doing a placement, investigate and prepare now – you can decide later not to do one but you do not want to regret not trying.
“ I wasn’t sure I wanted to do a placement until I went for interviews and saw the facilities, from which point I was sold!”Kristi’s GSK placement profile
“I didn’t want to do a placement but having spoken to Dr Lawry I decided to put my CV in for one. I’m so glad I did as my placement has been brilliant!” Ellie – Fujifilm Diosynth placement Continue reading “How to find a year-placement”
I look at the screen and smile. After an intensive six-hour lab session involving lots of careful pipetting, I’m ecstatic that the experiment I’ve spent weeks on has succeeded at last.
At the moment, I’m based in a biology research unit at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies on the planet. I’ve been on placement here for over nine months; I still can’t quite believe it some days.
Scientists in Newcastle are harnessing bacteria’s own defence mechanisms to create new antibiotic drugs. I spent my year in industry in the laboratory, working alongside these scientists searching for the mechanisms that could potentially be used to treat bacterial and fungal infections in humans.