Industrial Placement Student - Synthetic Organic Chemistry

by AstraZeneca

Best Student Employer


  • Skills
  • Responsibilities
  • Support & Guidance
  • Culture
  • Your Impressions


  • 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis.
  • I worked within Early Chemical Development as a lab based employee, contributing to the process understanding and development of early phase projects (Phase I of III). This involved researching the scientific literature, collaborating with resident specialist colleagues to learn new techniques / use new instrumentation and attending regular department / team meetings. I was also responsible for maintaining accurate lab notebooks, risk assessing my own work, designing experiments and completing ongoing training.


  • 2. Have you learnt any new skills, or developed your existing skills?
  • I learnt a tonne of new skills! These expanded far beyond the chemistry side of the placement and also focussed on professional development (e.g. presenting, scientific writing, scientific posters, working within a team, self-organisation, etc.) The project work had a clear focus, but there remained plenty of flexibility to collect new skills. I worked closely with my supervisor to highlight techniques which I wanted to explore and we succeeded in arranging opportunities to do so.

  • How would you rate the training provided during your experience?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate your development of industry-specific skills during the experience?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate your development of personal / soft skills during the experience?
  • 5/5

  • Please rate how these skills have helped you in your career development
  • 5/5


  • 3. Were you given much responsibility during your placement / internship?
  • Absolutely. I felt like a valued and independent member of the department from the very start of my placement, although colleagues were extremely receptive to questions and helping out when I needed them to. I was responsible for the day to day organisation of project related tasks and prioritising my work based on the most recent empirical data.

  • Please rate how meaningful the work you were doing was
  • 5/5

    Support & Guidance

  • 4. How much support and guidance did you receive during your placement / internship?
  • Support was always available. The department consisted of a lot of incredibly experienced chemists who were always willing to "chip in" on complex problems which I was facing. Whilst on paper I had been allocated a single supervisor, the reality is that the entire department love chemistry and were more than willing to help!!

  • How would you rate the support and guidance from your line manager?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the support and guidance from the wider team?
  • 5/5


  • 5. What was the company culture and general atmosphere like?
  • Phenomenal. The company appears to be very genuine in its values. Many employees worked long hours but by personal choice and for love of the role, rather than because it was expected. The lab / office was always a happy place to be and filled with like-minded individuals.

  • How would you rate the inclusiveness of the culture?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the social opportunities?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the diversity initiatives?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the charity, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?
  • 5/5

    Your Impressions

  • 6. To what extent did you enjoy your placement / internship?
  • My only regret is that I can't rewind the clock and start it all over again!! The best decision was to apply and I sincerely hope to return after my degree.

  • Please rate your level of enjoyment on your placement / internship
  • 5/5

  • Please rate how your experience met your expectations
  • 5/5

  • Please rate the future employment prospects at AstraZeneca
  • 5/5

  • 7. Would you recommend AstraZeneca to a friend?
  • Yes

  • 8. What advice would you give to others applying to AstraZeneca
  • Apply. Apply. Apply. ... You won't regret it!

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Placement Year (10 Months+)


North West

October 2021

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