Summer Student at Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research

Gateway Bursary
MSci Biomedical Science

Tell us a bit about your internship

Hi everybody, my name is Ollie, I'm currently in my fourth year of MSci Biomedical Science, so that's my Master's year. So I did my summer internship with the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR) summer school, so that took place this summer 2022 at The Institute of Biomedical Science and my project was supervised by an Academic who's involved in g-protein-coupled receptor signalling, and it was a great opportunity for me to learn lots of new laboratory techniques and also take part in peer reviewing papers and participating actively in lab meetings. 

How did you find out about the internship and why did you apply?

So I was first made aware of the IMSR summer school through my personal tutor, he made me aware of the summer school and I approached the head of the summer school and emailed him to ask about possible opportunities. When I started the summer school I didn't have any particular career in mind, although I had some ideas of the kind of thing that I would be interested in doing and I think participating in the summer school helped me to realise that research careers aren't what I'm interested in, but sometimes it's just important to understand what's not going to work for you as well as what will and I still thought it was a very valuable experience, particularly because of the disruption to science lab placements during Covid years, so it really helped me to pick up some experience that I've missed out on.

What did you gain from doing the internship?

I think that I gained a lot of skills that my undergrad degree simply wouldn't have been able to provide me with by participating in this program, in particular I gained a lot of lab skills including research skills and also new lab techniques, communicating in a professional way with my supervisors and my colleagues in the lab, I also learned a lot of new scientific techniques that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn in a much bigger classroom, for example during my program and my studies so this was really beneficial to me.

What are your top tips for applying to work experience?

I think my top tips for applying to summer placements - whether that's in research institutes or in industry, would be to use the resources that the uni has made available to you, so speak to your personal tutor, contact the careers team, ask them to look at your CV and look at your experience and only include experience that you think is going to be relevant to the role. If it's research then your personal tutor will normally be an academic at the University so that's a great place to start, because that's the career that they're in so they'll have an excellent insight into getting you the experience that you'll need. If it's industry try and approach people that you may know within your school or department that have links with industry and they may also be able to advise you on your application. If you're selected for an interview, have an idea of how you can use real life examples to back up the skills and qualities that you've put on your CV.


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