Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student: Laura Dougherty

Degree Subject: MSci Biochemistry

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Company Name: University of Exeter

Job Title: Research Assistant

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I planned and ran many immunoassay tests, predominantly ELISAs. I also produced and purified samples from several pathogenic fungi, which will be used for further testing.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I produced high quality data which will be used to help make tests for the diagnosis of several deadly fungal infections. I feel a great sense of achievement to have contributed to such a worthwhile project.

Were there any challenges and how did you overcome these?

The results of one of my larger tests was unexpected. I successfully investigated the cause and had identified that one of the elements used was degrading over time. This is important for the group I was working with to be aware of as they will adjust their experiments going forward.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Networking
  • Report writing

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Logical thinking

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“My internship experience was really worthwhile. I worked with a group who were developing better tests for several deadly fungal infections. I have gained a lot of experience and confidence, particularly in planning and running experiments independently. I also developed my analytical and problem-solving skills. I produced high quality results and gained useful team-working experience. I received professional support throughout my internship and really enjoyed my time working as part of this group and feel like I have a better grasp of how I wish to progress my career.”