Joakim Ceder, Sweden
Chemistry, Idaho National Laboratory
How has the internship been going so far?
It's going great! I get hands on experience, and even when I'm strictly observing I feel like I learn a lot. I get along well with my co-workers and supervisors and will make sure I foster the contacts I'm making.
What are the biggest learnings you take from the internship?
A greater expertise in the field of research performed at the lab I'm in, and an understanding of how a laboratory is run on the highest possible level.
Do you think it will give a competitive advantage when going back home?
Definitely. Not only does it look good on my resume, I also get real knowledge it wouldn't have been possible to get from books or courses. I also have personal connections to people in my field that both me and them hope will benefit us both in the future.
Well I make some coffee (Swedes love coffee, any time of the day) and pack my lunch box and make sure I've got my ID-card with me. I walk to work through a nice park and meet up with my supervisor by 6:30. We drive out to the desert facility where our laboratory is and swipe our ID-cards for access. We check on some samples that have been running over night and take notes in the lab journal.
While my supervisor checks his email and does other work, I'm at my desk studying either the next step in the experiment or simply chemistry textbooks that are related (best part is that it's giving me a head start on next semester's courses). After lunch we go to a meeting with the head of the department and discuss current projects and milestones to be met.