More than 500 Life Sciences students from universities across Scotland applied to the programme this year, with 24 successfully undertaking internships and having their efforts recognised at a ceremony at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital last month.
Emma Halley, an Immunology and Biology student at Strathclyde University, secured an internship with Taragenyx and completed an innovative business development project.
She said: “I’ve found the whole experience to be invaluable. It has definitely helped me know what I want to do when I graduate; I feel work-ready.”
Tom Davie, Taragenyx business development manager, said Emma’s internship was a huge benefit to the company. He told us: “We are a small company, so having an undergraduate in the team brought a different energy to the group. Over the 12 weeks I feel we got a lot out of Emma's contribution and she took away a lot too.”
Some of this year's successful interns
The students were given an insight into the life sciences sector and heard from industry leaders at the celebration event, who all commended their hard work and achievements over the summer.
Heather Jones, chief executive of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, spoke about the benefits from an industry perspective. After taking on one intern in 2015 and two this year, she said: “These internships let you challenge us, and let us challenge you. We have seen huge benefits from having enthusiastic students working with us.”
The students gained a wealth of tangible experience and unrivalled insight during their internships. With some of the students securing part-time work with their host companies in the future, it's clear that this programme benefits everyone who gets involved.
Kelly Barbour, ScotGrad Programme Manager said: “It’s encouraging to see that students are being proactive and seeking advice before applying, with over 70% of applicants being signposted to us by their university careers service. Applications have increased by almost 60% since last year, proving how in demand these programmes are for student development. The positive outcomes from this year show that the programme is helping to enhance the employability of Scotland's graduates."
The Scottish Life Sciences Internship Programme is delivered by ScotGrad in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services. To find out more, please visit the ScotGrad website.