PIPS student profile

Pippa Harvey

RNA Biology Group and Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences Medical School Newcastle University Catherine Cookson Building Framlington Place Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH

PIPS Internship Organisation Name 

Pfizer

Location 

Boston, USA

When deciding on your internship, what did you want to experience and what did you hope to gain from that experience? 

I wanted to experience scientific research in an industrial setting and to see the difference between academia and industry.  I also wanted to develop my abilities in the lab, learn new techniques and get involved in an interesting project.  I wanted to experience living and working in another country and to see the different culture.

Did you get the experience you were expecting and did you achieve the personal development you had hoped to make? 

I got the experience I was expecting from my internship.  I worked full time in an industrial laboratory setting.  I got a real feel for how the industry worked and what day-to-day life was like.  In terms of personal development I feel I achieved a lot; I now have a lot more confidence in my ability and skills, also going abroad was very daunting and I feel that I handled it very well and enjoyed it immensely.

Did you discover anything about yourself or make any achievements that you were not expecting?

I was surprised to find that I actually coped extremely well with being so far away from friends and family and how quickly I settled in to my new surroundings.  I discovered that the world is a small place.

Has the internship made you feel differently about potential career options and has it helped to put the skills from research into a broader context? 

I think that my internship has opened my eyes a bit to the wide range of possibilities for when I graduate, in the sense that I may never have considered moving abroad before but having seen how amazing it can be I would now consider it.  Because my internship was still very much a laboratory based setting I used the skills I possess in much the same way, however, I can see how skills gained from research could be used outside of academia.  I think that the internship would be more beneficial in terms of career options at the end stages of the PhD or even after, when the student has fully experienced working for a long period of time in a lab and wants to explore other options.

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