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About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I thought it was a good opportunity to have an experience outside the University. It would also be a chance to start making connections and building networks with researchers in my home country.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Speculative application

Main responsibilities

I mainly worked in the Molecular Biology laboratory, extracting DNA from plants used in an experiment to evaluate early responses to pathogen infection. I have also performed activities in the facilities for in vitro seedlings propagation (transference of seedings, in vitro culture of sugarcane plantlets, etc).

Typical day

I would start at work at 7:30am, probably having some coffee with other staff from IAC and checking emails. Later, I would probably start to prepare plant material for DNA extraction. This would possibly involve going to the greenhouse to collect plant tissue. After that, I would grind the tissue and extract DNA, which would be stored for qPCR experiments that will be performed later on by other researchers.Later, all staff and researchers would stop for lunch (between 11-12am).So after lunch, I would be able to help in the in vitro seedling production facility. The job in this sector varies depending of the day. It could involve being outdoors transplanting seedlings or being inside the sterile area handling plants that were grown in vitro, either in bioreactors or in magenta pots. Then, my working day would finish at 4:30.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the recent research and the new technologies that are being developed for sugarcane in Brazil. It was also really valuable to meet and talk to people at IAC, and increase my professional network in my home country.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

Yes, I have used my skills in molecular biology techniques and also in plant tissue culture.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

No, I have done a short term (4 weeks) placement experience, so I don't think it was enough time to have such an impact in my career decision. However, the fact that I have met people and made connections with researchers in Brazil was important for my professional development. It will definitely have an impact in my future career, being valuable when I am back to my home country.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

I have done a short placement (4 weeks), it was really valuable, but I guess a longer period would probably be more interesting. Also, if you don't find a paid opportunity, keep in mind that you can apply for funding from the University or from your Department. I have applied for PREP scheme and also the Murray internship award (Faculty of Science), for example.

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Form completed: 01 Oct 2018

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