I thoroughly enjoyed this placement year, as it provided me with the opportunity to experience research in an industrial setting. I was able to decide whether or not research was the right career path for me.
I felt incredibly supported and welcome from the first moment I met my colleagues and everyone in the department was really encouraging throughout the whole placement.
I felt very supported and felt comfortable asking for help or advice if I ever needed it.
Sometimes I was incredibly busy and in the lab for the whole day whereas other times, I was mostly just sat at my desk writing up experiments and doing admin. I would say everyday is different and it varies, which is a good thing.
I was given a lot of responsibility as I developed and as time went on, which was a challenging aspect of this year but it allowed me to showcase my abilities and provided me with opportunities to grow and develop.
All the lab experience and scientific skills I learned will doubtless be incredibly useful for my future, as I am hoping to continue in this field and pursue research as a career. If it wasn't something I wanted to do, this year would still have been useful as I developed many soft skills such as teamwork, independence and communication as the placement year provided multiple opportunities to enhance these skills. Overall, I have grown a lot as a person.
The atmosphere was incredibly relaxed and there was always cake and treats in the office, which helped!
The first two weeks involved an induction to introduce the students to the labs and techniques, which really helped to ease you in to the environment you were going to be working in. The supervisors and managers know what they are doing and will provide support and help throughout the year.
I had many opportunities to showcase my work, particularly at meetings, where you present your work and defend the results you obtained. There are also lectures and talks to help develop your scientific knowledge as well as multiple opportunities to volunteer and contribute to the local area.
Really appealing and having had the opportunity to work at GSK means that you essentially have one foot in the door and I would love to return to work as a full-time employee.
The organisation IP Unite was incredible at organising various functions and events to facilitate socialising and networking and they were great fun.
Relatively expensive, but obviously cheaper than it would be in London!
Not that busy but there are a few places to go.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
East of England
17th August 2020
£16,000 - £17,999