• Question: Where did you go for work experience?

    Asked by _o_b_r_o_w_n_ on 20 Jun 2019. This question was also asked by hannahleece.
    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      I worked as a healthcare assistant on a hospital ward for work experience, and also shadowed some doctors. It was really helpful to get an idea of what it was like to work in a hospital. Would highly recommend getting some work experience for the field you want to go into!

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      I did some experience in a hospital laboratory for the summer (pathology) and also I spent a week in a university laboratory for a week to get an idea and experience there.

    • Photo: Ettie Unwin

      Ettie Unwin answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      Thanks for asking this question again so I can answer in more detail. I did quite a lot of different work experiences:

      1) At the end of year 11 I worked for a week (or maybe 2) at BP. This was my first taste of science out of school and I got to talk to lots of interesting people. The work was a bit frustrating but it was good to find more about how people got to where they did.

      2) At the end of year 12 I got a Nuffield Bursary placement and worked for a civil engineering company called Black and Veatch ( ~ 4 weeks). Here I costed different flood management strategies for a village in Oxfordshire. My recommendations were taken into their whole plan. I also finished my project a bit early so I got to go to the environment agency. Here I went on a couple of site visits to construction sites which was interesting.

      3) I worked at my school supervising after school homework sessions.

      4) I worked for a defense engineering company for a year between school and university and some summers afterwards. I tested a piece of military equipment and did analysis using matlab to see how well it was performing. I really enjoyed this scheme and would recommend googling the “Year in Industry” if you are at all interested.

      5) During the other summers of my degree i did research projects to check I enjoyed research and wanted to become an academic.

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      I did a week of worn experience on a hospital ward, shadowing nurses and talking to patients.

      I also got other experience of healthcare settings by being a hospital cleaner on saturdays whilst I was doing my a levels. I also worked as a call handler in an out of hours GP surgery and I volunteered in a well baby clinic.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      In year 10 I did a week working at a home for people who were disabled. This was enjoyable but it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do as I was too shy! Before I started university I did a week of work experience at a pharmaceutical company. During my time at university I did a voluntary summer lab placement for 8 weeks where I got to experience being in a research lab for the first time. I learnt how to grow cells, use certain pieces of equipment and also new techniques. This experience was quite invaluable and it was the final confirmation I needed that research was something I really wanted to do.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      I thought I wanted to be a medical doctor so I went to my local hospital for three weeks. It was a great experience, as I got to shadow many people of many different professions – doctor, nurse, pediatrician, occupational therapist, speech therapist, physical therapist and pharmacist, as examples! I had essentially free reign of the hospital but it did put a couple of things into perspective for me. Due to this work experience, I decided not to pursue a career in being a medical doctor, which was a great help to making the decision before I went into medical school rather than after!

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      Lots of different places in preparation for veterinary medicine, but my earliest work experience week at school was spent in the neuropathology department at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (the government department now known as DEFRA). I got to work with some amazing scientists researching prion diseases (a group of devastating neurodegenerative disorders including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)). This had a major impact on the clinical and research areas I work in now (some 21 years later!) and was an unforgettable experience.

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