Paul, Industrial Placement Student
I am working in the small molecule crystallography group of a large pharmaceutical company. My main responsibilities include:
It’s extremely variable. As well as checking emails/phone messages etc., I may receive and log in a sample, update our database, asses the sample for crystallinity using a polarised microscope, set up a crystallisations screen (slow evaporation, vapour diffusion and/or temperature cycling), check ongoing crystallisations for single crystals, review a report which has returned from our outsourcers, solve and refine a crystal structure, help with a data collection, and somewhere find time to have coffee and tea breaks and to have lunch!
I am eight and a half months into a 12 month placement.
To help me decide on my career path, to improve my CV and to make some money!
I feel like I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry. I am always treated as a colleague not a student. I have had a lot of opportunities both through what I do on a day to day basis, and through seeing what a wide variety of other people do from throughout the organisation.
I have completed two years of a chemistry degree at Cardiff University.
I think so, and I certainly hope so. I don’t expect it to make a huge difference, however I like to think it will tip the balance in my favour if I’m up against a similar applicant.
I’m still not entirely sure, however my year in industry has undoubtedly opened my eyes to things I may pursue, as well as things I will not! At the moment I am inclined towards the computational side of chemistry.
There are about 90 students here with a full leisure club, and clubs for just about every sport. In that respect it has a lot in common with university. I have a good friendly working relationship with all my colleagues, and couldn’t be happier in that respect.
The best element about my job is that I am genuinely doing a real, business critical job, with real responsibility and real challenges.