I have been on placement with RGU for two weeks now and feel like I have comfortably settled into my role within the analytical laboratories. Most people don’t realise that RGU offers students on undergraduate science degrees the chance to undertake ‘sandwich’ placements between third and fourth year. It seems to be well advertised that this is an opportunity readily available to many subjects such as business, nursing and other health professions but most people seem to forget to include the sciences. I’m hoping this post will change your mind and encourage any of you scientists out there to aim for that placement and grab any opportunity to enhance your CV.
I’ve been studying Forensic and Analytical Science for the past four years, (and no it’s not CSI before you ask! Although there are some times when I do feel like I truly belong there!) and honestly I don’t think there is a course out there which suits me more. I am very much your typical nerd. I have always truly enjoyed being in the labs throughout my degree so when the opportunity for a year placement with RGU Analytical Labs was offered to me…. I grabbed it with both hands.
Right, now the exciting part… here is a little about what I actually will be doing on my year’s placement. I am working in collaboration with RGU, Abertay University and Police Scotland to analysis and compile a database of seized Licit and Illicit Diazepam and Ecstasy tablets (see …. CSI right there!). Basically, I am working with lots of complicated machines and lots of drugs of abuse. I know it has only been two weeks so far, but it has already been really good to get to put into practise the techniques and knowledge that I have worked hard to study over the past four years. I suppose it is reassuring to know that all my stress over coursework, exams and lab assessments will be put to use in the future.
Here are a few photos of the lab I’m in for placement
Doing anything new for the first time can be a nerve racking experience, but sometimes these experiences can be the most rewarding. It is not uncommon for us as humans to remain safely within our comfort zones but sometimes that extra push can open many doors to new and exciting adventures. I have been really lucky and have joined a welcoming, enthusiastic and very exciting team of academics, lab techs and students who are great to be around and I am very excited to continue learning from.
From one student to another, trust me I can already see that placement is going to give me invaluable tips for coping with a graduate lab job in the future so I honestly encourage you to go for it if you get the chance. Not only will it enhance your CV but also your knowledge, confidence and experience in your chosen area. So really it is a win win!!
Catch you later, Megan x