23rd August 2022
We caught up with GAMA’s placement students, before leaving for their final year of University; to find out what skills they’ve learnt, their highlights from the year and what advice they would give to a fellow student looking to apply.
How would you describe your time at GAMA in 3 words?
Ellie: Rewarding, lively, collaborative.
Eva: Collaborative, exciting and challenging.
Holly: Engaging, fun and lively.
George: Interesting, varied and fun.
What new skills have you learnt during your year in industry?
Ellie: Time management, diligence, communication, presentation, teamwork, and resilience.
Eva: I have learnt how to multitask, work and communicate as a team, plan effectively, write reports, the importance of time management and have become more resilient.
Holly: Organisation, confidence in the laboratory which will help me in my final year of university and laboratory positions in future. I can conduct standard EN testing, gained experience in validating as well as performing new, innovative procedures. I’ve learnt how different teams in R&D work together to produce meaningful results and push forward ideas to enter new research areas.
George: There’s too many to list, but mainly how to work effectively within a fast-paced engineering team and implement product design processes to produce quality products.
Highlight from your time at GAMA?
Ellie: Either the office opening at Hemel in September or having the opportunity to visit Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital as a representative of the microbiology team.
Eva: I really enjoyed the Hemel office opening party. It was only a few weeks after we had joined the company, and I felt so welcomed. I had the opportunity to meet everyone in FRC and wider team, while joining in activities which really showed me how fun the company is!
Holly: Definitely taking part in the skydive for UK Sepsis Trust along with Ellie, Lauren and Jake. There’s nothing like a near death experience to bring you and your colleagues closer!
George: Being able to have real input into the design and engineering of clinical products, meeting loads of great people and of course, the Christmas party.
What would you say to students considering a placement year at GAMA?
Ellie: GAMA has a lively, fast-paced work environment. It has good work-fun balance, and you are given lots of opportunities to help with ongoing projects, as well as the chance to do your own work within new projects. All of this together, allows you to learn so many skills and techniques, both in an office environment and in the lab. There also many opportunities to get to know your colleagues outside of work, this helps you feel like a permanent team member.
Eva: The placement year is a really great experience. Being in a very fast-paced environment, was challenging but rewarding and as a result, I have become more resilient and prepared for my final year at university, it’s been an amazing opportunity!
Holly: Apply! The skills you will learn are invaluable and you will meet the best people who can teach you a lot. Be prepared to work hard and take every opportunity available to get involved and have fun!
George: Do it! I’ve learnt so many skills that I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t taken this placement year. I’ve gained experience in how to apply my engineering knowledge, that I would have otherwise missed out on. You get loads of support throughout the year from the team as well!
What’s the biggest takeaway for you from your placement year?
Ellie: Perseverance. Especially in lab work, testing timetables are constantly changing to fit the goals of the company and testing in microbiology doesn’t always provide you with the results you expect. This requires you to adapt to demands and results to help with the progression of product development.
Eva: I’ve had a very hands-on experience in the Microbiology lab and learnt laboratory skills which I will apply to my final year project at university. Besides that, I am very privileged to have worked alongside specialists in the field of infection prevention and made connections with people across the company, all of who I will miss very much!
Holly: For me, this year has allowed me to realise that I am more capable than I thought, and I have surprised myself with how much I have enjoyed having the responsibility of carrying out important laboratory work. Personally, I have learnt a lot about how colleagues can collaborate to achieve common goals and how crucial clear communication is to the success of a team. My placement has been really rewarding and has definitely made me more motivated to complete my degree and find a role within infection prevention.
George: The practical knowledge and soft skills I’ve gained on placement have helped me become a well-rounded engineer as I move forward into my future career.
What’s next for you?
Ellie: I will be returning for my final year, studying Pharmacology, at the University of Manchester.
Eva: I will be completing my 3rd year of my Medical Sciences degree at the University of Leeds.
Holly: From September, I will be back at the University of York to finish my undergraduate degree in Biology.
George: Completing the final year of my Masters in General Engineering (Mechanical) at The University of Sheffield.
Looking for a year in industry? Contact email@example.com to find out what roles we have available. We’d like to say a huge thank you and wish Ellie, Eva, Holly and George, lots of luck for their final year.
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