To carry out analytical tests on drug API before clinical release
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed my placement. Everyone was very welcoming and I found the work rewarding. I learnt a lot about the industry and about analytical chemistry. I felt as though my work was valuable and enjoyed the work I was doing a great deal. The company is a great employer and made me feel very comfortable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone was very welcoming and made an effort to make me feel included. I was always able to ask questions and go to anyone in the team with problems without hesitation. Everyone was very friendly and it was a good environment to be in. I looked forward to coming to work for this reason.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisors were both very helpful and supportive. I never felt like a burden and everyone was very willing to train me on a variety of techniques. I was very supported when doing my university work and my supervisors were also understanding when I was stressed with all the work I had on.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I had to balance university work, with exams and doing my 3rd year project for university as well as doing work for Pfizer. This added up to a lot of work and I often had to work in evenings after work and at the weekend which I struggled with. I added a lot of stress to my year.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I felt as though I was trusted with important tests and allowed independence to carryout my own work. This was a positive thing as I could grow with time management and the ability to improve my confidence. At first itwas daunting and I did make mistakes but this was very beneficial over all.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt a lot in my lab work. The techniques were very useful and I can apply them to my university work next year. I learnt so much on the job and I know this will be applicable to my degree. The experience I gained will also help me in my future carer should I choose to work in a lab or chemistry industry again. Other skills such as time management will be applicable to all areas of my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone was very friendly and I felt as though there was a positive atmosphere in the office. I was initially nervous to come in to a corporate environment, but I soon felt comfortable in the office. People were always chatty and enjoyed spending time together which made the experience more enjoyable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was chosen to move across two departments during my placement. I moved from one department to carry out my research project. This meant I did not have enough time to complete my project and write it up which increase my stress a lot. I think this was a trial idea of working in two departments and it is not common in year in industry placements in Pfizer. Apart from this, the work was very well organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I felt as though I had a lot of training. Even at the need of my placement I am still being trained on new lab techniques just for personal development. Everyone was always will to teach me new skills and I felt through that I have learnt a great deal.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
It seems like a very good company to work for and I would be happy to work here again. There are a lot of bonuses and support to gain form being a full time employee. I only would worry about the amount of progression that could be made in my role as there are not a lot of senior / managerial positions in my department. I have not been given a job as I would have to go through the usual route to gain a job, however my supervisors mention that I could apply for a job here after university.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were a lot of people doing placements which meant there were lots of people to get along with and socialise. It was a smaller social scene obviously moving from university, but I did enjoy spending time with other interns and I did live in a house with other interns which made the year more enjoyable.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living was fairly cheap, however our house was not very large or well equipped, but it was fairly cheap for being in the south. Going out for drinks was moderately priced for the South but not very cheap. Going out for a night out was affordable but not very cheap.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There were a few nice bars in the town Broadstairs where we lived. London is close by which is a big advantage. Canterbury is close which has nice cocktails bars and is quite lively at the weekend. There is only one club which isn't anything special so doesn't offer a great night life. It isn't a place to come to expecting good night life, but you can find a good time if you want to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
If you had a hobby or an interest there would be ways to keep that up, although this may involve some travelling. I found a running club in my local town and at work and lots of running events in the area. The opportunities were not obvious but I am sure you could seek them out if you wanted to.