A switch of degree meant that Angus Vajk could broaden his skills with a summer placement in his home town of Oban. He explains what happened.
What's your background?
I grew up in Oban (where the placement at Glycomar was based) and went to Edinburgh University to study Philosophy, but decided to switch to Plant Science, which I put to use in the placement.
What project were you involved in?
It was a lab placement at Glycomar working with algae. We were developing new protocols for the extraction of valuable products. I felt it was a good project to work on.
What did you like most about your placement?
Definitely the freedom it gave me. I was given an assignment and told to go off and work on it. I had that freedom, but also knew there was someone there to help if needed. It felt liberating, and gave me a sense of responsibility.
What did you learn and what skills have you gained?
Lab techniques, but also time management skills. I had to plan out how long assignments would take, and what I would need to do. This helped me gain planning and organisational skills that I had never really used before.
What are your plans?
I'm hoping to get another summer placement this year, working on a malaria drug. Then, I'm interested in working further on research in malaria drug development.