Ask a student: What’s it like to complete a science internship?

Publication date
Monday, 11 Apr 2022
Body
A woman in a white shirt standing in front of a creek and trees

Tanya Javaid

Tanya Javaid is an international student from Pakistan studying a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) at ANU. We asked Tanya to tell us about her recent experience of completing an internship at CSIRO as part of her degree. 

“Doing an internship is definitely worth it! It’s a great way to make some incredible contacts and learn about their work, as well as open yourself up to future opportunities.

Applying for an internship is pretty straightforward. I submitted an expression of interest to the ANU Science Internships Office and got called in for an interview at CSIRO. The University was very supportive, and the internship induction was also very informative. 

My days at CSIRO were mostly spent in the lab. It’s a friendly work environment, and my hours were quite flexible, allowing me to work around my uni schedule. I would plan my experiments ahead, and work on them with the help of my supervisor. My supervisor was extremely patient with me in the lab, and allowed me to work independently, giving me the freedom to make mistakes.

My biggest achievement from this entire experience was gaining a new-found confidence in my own lab skills, and in the way I approached my lab work at university. As someone who was often quite anxious before any practical work, the independence and trust that my supervisor gave me at CSIRO made me feel much more comfortable in a lab environment. I was also no longer afraid of doing something wrong in a lab or having experiments fail! 

A highlight was definitely the final seminar presentation. Being able to present results my own project gave me a feeling of accomplishment and encouragement to take on more projects.

It is also so valuable to have a project of your own and see how the application of your knowledge can solve real-world problems. As a student, it’s natural to feel disconnected from what you’re studying sometimes. Getting caught up in the stress of grades and deadlines, you often forget to enjoy what you’re learning, and fail to see that information is used beyond the classroom. An internship is a great way to study what you love in a hands-on way, without obsessing over your grade at the end of it!

To any students considering an internship, I highly recommend applying! My advice would be to trust yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.”

Find out more about applying for an internship as part of your ANU science degree.
 

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