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United Kingdom

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Dandyyeva Gulzhanat


Home country

Kazakhstan

Internship city and country

Dundee, United Kingdom

Internship employer

University of Dundee

University study field

Biomedical Engineering

Year of internship

2019

Internship length

10 weeks


Work

My major goal during internship was to explore an utterly new working atmosphere and obtain the necessary skills for my future career. Certainly, I have achieved those goals, but not limited to this I explored so much more in myself and the world around me. In terms of background information of my internship, I was working in the University of Dundee School of Life Sciences. This university is ranked 6th in the UK in Biosciences. According to CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019, the university is the 1st in the UK and Europe for Biomedical and Health Sciences Impact; the 5th in the World as judged by ‘citations-per-paper’. So, University of Dundee has a reputation as one of the most dynamic international centers for molecular cell biology, with outstanding laboratory and technology facilities. The internship was part of the IAESTE exchange as well as part of the Summer school. Apart from me there were about 50 other students from all over the world who were doing their placements in various laboratories. The laboratory in which I was working was focused on C. elegans model as model for studying aging and longevity. The lab consisted of 4 members including my supervisor. I was very happy to meet them as they were very helpful and kind. My supervisor assigned me a project for 10 weeks with specific requirements. The main objective of my project was to study the role of his-71 & his-72 in regulating lifespan of C. elegans under the starved and fed conditions I have conducted different experiments on starvation assays and its impact on lifespan based on C. elegans model. The project topic was completely new for me as I have not studied genetics and molecular biology throughout my courses. Thus, the first 3 weeks I was reading papers and studying the model organisms in a more profound way. Apart from that, I have never worked independently in the laboratory before my internship. So, I was taught how to handle different laboratory tools in a proper manner and how to conduct basic experiments. Thus, from week 4 onwards, I have started the experiments necessary for my project development. By the end of week 10, I have obtained the expected results. Fortunately, the results obtained were incredible! I have confirmed my initial hypothesis. During the project completion, I have faced a lot of challenges including improper procedure for experiments, lack of proper planning and organizational issues. However, through proper discussion with my supervisor and colleagues I found the way to improve the work and became more assertive.Without any doubt, the research field opened new horizons for me in career development and personal growth.

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Experience

My IAESTE internship in Scotland is one of the most memorable and fascinating experiences in my life. The internship exceeded all my expectations. Certainly, it is all about people I met and self discovery. The most happiest and brightest moments are associated with the time spent with my IAESTE friends. In terms of internship arrangement, I have worked 5 days a week and during weekends I have joined various trips and events organized by LC commities in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Local memebers helped me to find an accommodation in Dundee, so I was living with a girl from Scotland, who became my friend. Thanks to her and all LC friends, I fully immersed myself into Scottish culture. For me, Scotland will always be associated with ceilidh, beer, haggis and amazing people! Of course, there were few challenges in adaptation period. The challenging part for me in Scotland was the accent of local people. Scottish people have own dialects and phrases and different pronunciation in English. However, after some time I get used to this and learned a lot of new words. Apart from that, I have not faced any other cultural barriers, as mostly the local people tend to be very open and helpful. The best feature of people in Scotland is their appreciation of balance in life. Most of the shops there close very early. The pace of life there is quite slow, and people seem to be happier. I was very glad to see how people socialize in the pubs or restaurants after a tiring working day. It should be noted, the best experience for me in Scotland was a ceilidh, where people from all ages can dance together to a Scottish traditional music. Such social gatherings unite people and enable meet a lot of friends. I was an ambassador of Kazakhstan and Hong Kong in Scotland. A lot of people were curious to explore Asian culture. I cooked a lot of traditional food to my flatmate, friends and colleagues. So, it was a good opportunity for them to get to know Asian cultures and they enjoyed it. I was very happy to know more about Scotland and at the same time share cultural attributes of Kazakhstan and Hong Kong.

Discover

The internship helped me to improve my social skills and to become open minded for foreign people.Through the IAESTE experience I learned how to be open for people. There are various things I have discovered in my personality via WIE experience. Firstly, it is my enthusiasm to explore new cultures and try new experiences. So, the strength would be my humility for the knowledge about everything in the world. Secondly, I discovered the necessity of work and life balance for me. Even though I am tired during the working week, it was important for me to go the nature with friends and recharge myself. This approach helped me a lot when facing a lot of challenges with experiments and deadlines. Thirdly, I would like to emphasize the importance of the interest and love for the job you are doing. Having seen so many people that found their true destination in life and the enthusiasm in their eyes, I realized it is the thing I am aspiring in my life. The approach I would like to integrate into my life will be never stop being humble and curious about the world. My IAESTE friends were highly motivated about their internships and at the same time they had so many interests as sports, art and music. They inspired me to be a person with multiple interests and broad perspective to life.