A personal highlight of my academic experience so far was a summer internship I undertook during my first year at King’s. I had found representatives from ShanghaiTech University at a Nature Careers event (which I had attended in order to find out more about what I could do in the future), and spoke with them about internship opportunities. They told me to send my CV to them for consideration, and as you have probably guessed – accepted my application for a summer placement!
Support from King’s
Although King’s provide their own Global Internships, they are also very supportive in encouraging students to find their own experiences as well. There are several funds and bursaries that you can apply for, in order to get partial funding. For example, I applied to the Student Opportunity Fund and was awarded £500 which covered a significant proportion of my travel expenses. King’s also provides full health insurance (and a few other types of insurance), which was really important for me.
What did my internship involve?
What I find awesome about university is how there are many opportunities to get engaged with topics that are not directly related to your specific field of study, which lets your try lots of different things! My two-month internship in Shanghai was focused on genetics, and involved using CRISPR interference and techniques including cellular and molecular biology, live-cell imaging, and yeast genetics. A very friendly PhD student helped me learn these skills and oversaw the project I had to do. I was also fully trained in using a laser-scanning confocal microscopy, which was something very new to me.
I got to experience life as a researcher in the university: I went to talks by speakers from universities all over the world, attended and volunteered at a conference, and got to be part of a very friendly lab group. Although I have decided not to pursue genetics further, the internship was a great experience as I made new friends, learned a lot, and sharpened my language skills!.
My main piece of advice…
If you are looking for internships and work experience, I recommend going out to conferences and other events both in and out of King’s, where you might potentially meet someone who can offer an interesting and enriching opportunity. Be sure to keep an open mind – don’t limit yourself to the subject you are studying if you want to try something new!
I hope this insight has been helpful, and wish you luck in your applications!
Find out more about King’s School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences