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Training Course Attendee
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

To strengthen my understaning of my area of research, polyurethanes (PUs), both chemically and industrially. This course gave me a better view of the context of my work.

How did you find your placement/internship?

The placement was suggested by my supervisor, who having attended the training previously, recommended it to me for a complete understanding of PUs and to fill in gaps in my knowledge.

Application process

I was required to complete an online application for the funding describing what I wanted to do with the money, why it will be good (e.g. for future employability and more than purely academic reasons) and why I would be a good candidate for the funding.

What made you choose this organisation for your placement/internship?

Smithers provides a range of professional training courses and this particular one was being presented by an industry expert.

Main responsibilities

I attended the training course where I listened to the course presenter and took notes on my handouts. I was particularly interested in learning about the broader processing techniques and routes of PUs in industry.

Typical day

Over the two days I sat and listened to the course speaker and then discussed various aspects with the other people attending the course.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I enjoyed learning about the context of my area of research and also talking to the other course attendees, finding out their various roles in the PU processing line.

Challenging aspects

I found it challenging to always follow new information being taught, especially regarding the commercial line of PUs, e.g. supply houses etc.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

Yes, I used my existing knowledge of PU chemistry which I was able to strengthen over the two days.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Definitely, I am no more aware of the various roles within the PU industry and whether they are something I would be interested in pursuing as a career after my PhD.

As a result of your placement/internship, what are your next steps in planning what you want to do after graduation?

The next step is to implement the information learned when conducting my own research, especially regarding the analysis of materials synthesised.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Take any opportunity you can to improve you understanding of something. Context is very valuable when researching, it's important to take a step back and think about why you're researching.

Form completed: 07 Oct 2019

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