PIPS student profile

Stephen Garrett

Newcastle University

PIPS Internship Organisation Name 

National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC)


UKHSA, Colindale

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 an alternative working environment to academia, but for my placement to still be in the field of science. UKHSA allowed me to experience what working for the civil service would involve, whilst also helping me to develop skills that would directly transfer into my current research and future careers.

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

I didn't expect to enjoy my PIPs placement as I worried my research would suffer as a consequence, however I had a great experience working with the NCTC team and developed some new skills that will still benefit me research. This placement has also helped to reassure me that I do wish to pursue a career in academia.

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

This placement helped to reassure me that I was putting a lot of work into my PhD even if it did not feel like it. It's easy to feel like we aren't working hard enough when we don't get results, however, I was told my a number of people at UKHSA how impressed they were with the amount of work I had produced whilst on my placement which helped me to return to my PhD with a more positive outlook on my projects ahead.

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? 

This placement definitely helped me clarify the trajectory in which I hope my career to go and has helped me appreciate the transferable skills I have learnt so far in my PhD.

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