Summer Internship at TAC
Over the summer TAC was lucky enough to have Rebecca Cairns join us as an intern. She was able to help the company in many ways and for TAC it was good to pass on knowledge and experience gain over the years to someone starting out in a Life Sciences career. Rebecca has written of her experiences here at TAC….
I’m an undergraduate student studying Immunology at The University of Glasgow, now in my final year. Between my 3rd and 4th year, I undertook a summer internship at The Antibody Company set up through Club 21, now The Internship Hub.
Why did you apply for an internship?
Before I went into my final year at university, I was keen to get some work experience, as I knew I would soon have to make some decisions about my future career path.
What appealed to you about this placement?
The thing that appealed to me most about this placement was that it was industry based. I really wanted to get some experience of the more industrial side of Life Sciences, as opposed to academia. I also liked that it was directly related to my degree, and I’d be able to see things I’d learned about being applied in a practical setting. In addition, I liked that TAC was a small business as it meant I’d be able to get involved and observe all aspects of how a Life Sciences business is run.
What were your responsibilities at TAC and what did you learn?
My primary roles at TAC included cell culture and carrying out quality control assays, such as ELISA, as well as assisting with the purification process. My general day-to-day laboratory responsibilities included preparation of reagents, cleaning of laboratory equipment, correct disposal of waste and monitoring temperatures of incubators, fridges and freezers.
The position gave me excellent laboratory experience outside of university and allowed me to become competent in laboratory practices, such as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which I also helped write and revise. Through TAC I was also given the opportunity to attend courses on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and learn about working to these principles. Importantly, the position allowed me to perfect my basic practical skills, such as pipetting and sterile technique. I was also responsible for carrying out some of the more non-practical duties, such as logging deliveries and placing orders for materials and reagents, giving me a full flavour of life in a working laboratory.
Would you recommend a placement at TAC to other students, and if so, what would you say are the key benefits?
Overall, my time at TAC has given me invaluable experience and I would definitely recommend a placement here to other Life Sciences students. I have learned so much and it has increased my confidence in the laboratory greatly – something that I have found very useful in undertaking my senior honours investigative project, and I’m sure will continue to be beneficial to me in the future. It’s also a great environment to work in, especially when you’re just getting started in your scientific career. I got a great feel for several aspects of a Life Sciences business, from the practical laboratory work to marketing and running of the business itself.