I haven’t had a lot of time to update recently, I’ve been so tired. It’s really difficult getting back into full-time work after such a long study leave.
So I started my internship last week. It is incredibly interesting stuff. I’m doing a lot of biology, and reading through a lot of journals – it’s hard going when you don’t know what most of the biology words mean. I’m learning a lot, and I’m hoping that my courses next year will be a lot easier as a result of it. (Also, I got my results! I did pretty damn amazing this year…so happy, I thought I’d failed at least one module. Yay!)
The company is based in Leatherhead, and is much larger than I first thought. It takes up three warehouses on an industrial estate, and employs 160 people. I have my own desk, my own computer login, and most excitingly, my own company email address. It’s the little things! I’m working the Research and Development section. Having done the dreaded Design Study, it’s pretty awesome walking around here. The company is an orthopaedics one – they have samples of hip and knee replacements lying around everywhere, mounted on walls, a dozen skeletons lying around. I’m actually in heaven.
I’m currently involved in a massive project which is a collaboration between Finsbury, Imperial College and a few other companies. On Tuesday last week I went to their quarterly meeting at IC, where I went down to the Incubator in the BioEng department. I’d never been down there before – it was amazing. It’s underneath the Upper Dalby Court, and so nice. You wouldn’t know it was part of IC – I guess it’s cos not many students get to go down there!! Very posh and sunny, even though it’s underground. We got shunted off to the SAF though, and ended up in a tiny office which was sooo hot and horrible. The first part of the day was just scoping and planning – a project management exercise with no science. It was really interesting to see how they work together when compared to how we did our design studies. The project manager is external to the project (which we obviously couldn’t do) and it makes such a difference.
In the afternoon we did the hardcore science. I can’t say what it actually is (which so makes me feel like a spy), but it was really interesting. It made me love Materials even more – you can’t do science without the materials, and they treat me like a bit of a celebrity at Finsbury, because I apparently know stuff! I don’t feel like it’s very true but anyway. The sad part about this bit of the meeting was that it was so hot and humid in the room that I was starting to fall asleep, and had to have some Coke to wake myself up. I was trying so hard to not have fizz, grr. But it worked, and I managed to concentrate and learn some really interesting stuff. It was also very useful networking.
I’ve now been given so much stuff to do that I don’t think I’ll finish by September. I have to do three literature reviews, one market review, a report on a funding application that was rejected and summarise some research that has just finished. I’m starting to realise there is a lot of paperwork that we just don’t see, and stuff you would never think ever existed.
I’ve only been here seven days, but it’s convinced me that a PhD is what I want to do more than anything else, even with the UROP. They get to do the actual science, which is what I really want. I think I will get a chance to go in a lab here, but most of the research is done in collaboration with external labs, so I’m doing a lot of the literature reviews. Well, in my case anyway – it might not be like that in other parts of the company, but I’m not experiencing any of that!
My first deadline was Friday, when my planning for the literature review had to be done. The meeting went really well, I was feeling so at sea, but my supervisor (who is a legend, by the way, even if she is French ) made me feel so good. Yay!
My life outside of the internship barely exists. I get home, eat, fall asleep! That said, we have done some stuff. Tom and I had a picnic in Bishop’s Park the other day, and I did a quartet mess around sesh with John, Tom and Ben. I made some cupcakes for this, which completely failed. The (lovely) hot weather does not like butter icing. We’ve decided our ‘rotating’ quartet on an availability basis is going to be called the Cupcake Quartet – thanks to John for the name! Website to be appearing soon. I sometimes think I give myself too much to do, but when I have nothing to do I start missing it.
I had an AMAZING weekend again. We partied hard at John’s, again, all of Friday night, then late on Saturday night too. It was pretty damn cool. Despite the football, when Tom discovered that I do actually have a few patriotic bones in me. The worst part of the weekend was Dr Who finishing! So sad about it I might just cry…never mind, we have next year to look forward to!
I’m doing a lot of overtime at the moment as I want to take the day off on Thursday (to move!!). My room is such a state, but I’ve signed up to StreetCar and we are almost ready.
I can’t put photos because I haven’t got the right programmes to resize them, and the ones my camera takes are too big. I’ve packed the computer with that one away, so you will have to wait with bated breath for next weeks update. [Edit: They're now up, obviously - but I'm not deleting the previous sentence because I like the use of the phrase 'bated breath']
Ciao for now!