Gaining professional experience during your degree is an excellent way to enhance your employability prospects. You can apply what you have learnt during your degree to a professional environment, whilst simultaneously improving your awareness of the world of work, whether you undertake a placement in research, industry or business.
We encourage students to undertake placements during their summer break, and our academics have many relevant connections to guide you. You can also seek help from our dedicated Career Zone, where they will provide you with support throughout the process.
Current students share their internship experiences:
Jay Devlin - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
My Natural Sciences course created an opportunity for me to do an international internship, at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne, Australia. I worked for two months with a research group on microfluidics using acoustic (sound wave) technology, gaining experience through a hands-on approach by starting a small project set up by my tutor Professor Geoff Nash, Director of Natural Sciences.
The Natural Sciences degree encourages students to go into research by studying a wide range of subjects, and by having many opportunities to gain work experience in research before graduation. This means after graduation, a more flexible approach can be taken to finding a research area, and the learning curve for a relatively new area of science is not so steep. The RMIT research group had a wide range of research focuses, from cell biology to engineering of new acoustic techniques.
Professor Leslie Yeo of RMIT, who oversaw my internship, said: “Internships provide valuable opportunities for students not just to experience academic research first-hand but also to develop laboratory skills that students may not necessarily have the chance to acquire in an undergraduate programme. At the Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory in RMIT, we involve our interns in the very same research projects that the postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows undertake to elucidate a deeper fundamental understanding of how high frequency acoustic waves can be harnessed for a wide range of applications across nanomaterials synthesis and manipulation, biosensing and drug delivery.”
Dr Amgad Rezk, who supervised my project, said about his own work: “We found these high frequency, non-audible sound waves, to be a very exciting platform for a variety of applications including pulmonary drug delivery via nebulisation, a miniaturised micro-centrifuge for blood separation and, more recently, as a platform for modulating the optical and electrical properties of atomically thin materials such as graphene and molybdenum disulphide.”
Travelling abroad for my internship has given me a fresh outlook on a different education system and allowed me to meet people and explore subjects that were not available in my home University. It gave me a taste of research and showed me how passionate people really are about their research - I spent a lot of time shadowing various people during their experiments with little to no prompting from my part; they were all incredibly keen to show me what they were doing! The whole experience was unique and fantastic - no other course that I know of offers internships like this one.
Alice Carr, Lucy Oram and Ellie Sloman - Labster
During our 3rd year of Natural Sciences we collaborated with a company called Labster. The project was a huge success and the team was really keen to meet us. As their offices were in Copenhagen, we took a trip there in the summer holidays to meet the team in person and find out a bit more about the day to day runnings of the company.
The trip was great fun, and after visiting the offices and playing with their virtual reality lab simulations, the team took us to see the local sights, including a board game cafe and a boat trip on the river. Labster also asked us to be their student ambassadors, and we are looking forward to what this new role will have in store.