Medical Microbiology with year in industry student at University of Leeds

David Busse

Where did you do your placement year & what was your job role?

I worked for Novartis, a pharmaceutical company, at their research site in West Sussex. I worked as an industrial trainee within the respiratory disease unit.

Could you describe a typical day on your placement?

One of the great things about working in a scientific environment is that you have very varied days. I would spend most of my day in the lab running experiments or writing up results and reading the literature. On top of this I was fortunate enough to be included in various meetings and events that put the work in context but also added variation to the job. To really get the most out of a placement you need to try out as many new skills as possible and keep trying new techniques. As a bonus this helps the work stay fresh and varied throughout the year.

What advice would you offer to other students considering doing a year in industry?

It’s important to look for positions early and be ready to have applications sent off in the first month of year 2. I would highly recommend spending some time over summer brushing up the CV. If you’re fortunate enough to get an interview the best advice I can give is be positive and show enthusiasm and interest in the work of the company but also in the work of the interviewer. Plus make sure you understand why you want to do the placement and what specific skills you have picked up from your studies and hobbies that make you a good fit for the job.