High-level description of work undertaken on placement year
The range of opportunities given to me over this year have been endless. At no point did I get the feeling that an opportunity was not available to me, due to being a placement student - everyone is eager to help you learn and develop in any way. The vast majority of my year was spent supporting a Study Statistician role for a molecule to treat IBD, rapidly taking on more responsibility for the tasks I was assigned as the year progressed. I even got the chance to travel to Vienna to visit the ECCO conference. I also helped in many other teams throughout the company; from Flu to Alzheimers, to (most excitingly) helping out the team working on a COVID-19 treatment in my last few months. I was also able to get a range of academic and industrial experience, being involved in the production/review of different publications being worked on during my time.
Non-project opportunities during placement
My non-project opportunities were even broader than the study-related ones! To kick off the year, I got the opportunity to take part in a charity abseil down the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower in Stratford, which was equal parts exciting and terrifying. Inside the office, I was involved in a group that organised quarterly internal conferences, highlighting some of the amazing work being done throughout the company, whilst getting a brilliant chance to develop my skills organising and hosting large meetings. I also helped out at many other internal charity events, worked on a PSI podcast and traveled to several university careers fairs.
Would you recommend taking a placement year and why?
Without a doubt! This year has been an amazing experience for me to grow academically and personally, gaining confidence hosting meetings, managing workloads and building a network. I also have a really good insight into my options for my next steps, with exposure to work across industry and academia. I think an industrial placement is an invaluable experience for both those who are certain of what they want to do and those who are completely lost on their career path - everyone has something to gain