Beer for breakfast?

During my work at Shepherd Neame’s Faversham brewery I was assigned to their laboratory. In the Analytical section of the lab, my tasks were to analyse beer samples to be sure they were in spec in terms of Co2, OG, PG, Bitterness, and polyphenol levels. Additional tests included carrying out head retention tests and VDKs to measure diacetyl and pentose levels in beer. In order to effectively determine these levels I had to become adept in the use of a number of machines, and the method of different analysis. The week I spent in the analysis section of the lab allowed me to gain the confidence of the operators and became proficient enough to be left to my own devices while taking samples around all areas of the brewery, conducting analysis of samples during different points in production, and carrying out my own projects within the lab. These projects included a joint venture with operators to measure effectiveness of yeast cultivation through use of different methods, and the making of my own homebrew using brewery supplies. I can say that the final result of this added to my experience several times over.

The second section I worked in was the microbiology section of the lab. During the week, I conducted yeast counts, cultivated different yeast strains through different methods, worked with different yeast agar mediums, and applied plating techniques using nanomembrane filters.

Continue reading

Advertisements

On this side of the law

The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary made it possible for me to commute to London and back for the duration of my placement. Without it I would have undoubtedly struggled more financially and perhaps would have only been able to attend my placement for a shorter period of time.

2

Working at Darlingtons was extremely insightful. Initially carrying out tasks on the conveyancing floor of the firm was enjoyable as I have worked in this sector before and this furthered my understanding of the legal procedure and what the solicitors do on a day-to-day basis. After being introduced to all the members of the property team I assisted with various admin tasks as well as drafting letters and assessing freehold property sale files. Further to this I made phone calls to banks and the council, as well as clients. I was also tasked with proof reading a case by one of the solicitors from litigation during my first week. Other experience involved taking an appeal to court. Initially scheduled in for a week of work, I managed to gain a second week after my first day.

My second week was more focused on litigation, as the partner 3on that floor, David Rosen gave me numerous research tasks after briefing me on the cases he was working. I was able to listen to client calls, read through cases, listen to a police interview and carry out other jobs which were given to me. I organised case documents for a witness statement, created a case bundle and accompanying index for court, was asked to read through a case and defend my opinion on it, as well as assisting in the creation of a letter with the litigation partner, where my ideas and suggestions were included on a number of occasions.

 

Overall I felt that I truly gained valuable experience as well as great connections in the legal sphere which will prove helpful in the future. My second week specifically provided me with an inclination that litigation may well be the field I specialise in in the future as I enjoyed it so thoroughly. The whole team was friendly, approachable and keen to give me tasks to complete. I was given challenges which ultimately made me feel more confident in my abilities as I received positive feedback at the end of my time there.

– Alexandra Lima is a 3rd year Law student at the University of Kent

One love…let’s get together and feel alright

As part of my postgraduate studies in Peace and Conflict Studies, I am currently completing a three-month internship with terre des hommes Germany. Terre des hommes is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation fighting for children’s rights around the world and I am grateful that I can get to know their valuable work.

I have been interested in development and humanitarian aid for a long time and although I have completed several other internships , I never got to know the work of a non-governmental organisation. Therefore, this is a valuable new insight for me. I am also learning how to apply for project funds from the German government but also from the European Union.

Most of my time so far has been spent working on a project proposal for the EU and I was able to learn about the whole process: we started to develop an idea for a project in India, which supports Indian organisations fighting against human trafficking and child labour. We then developed the idea further, discussing individual project activities, the necessary budget, etc. Next, we filled out the long application form, prepared all necessary information and finally submitted the application to the EU. I really hope that they will accept the project proposal and hence fund the project, as I truly believe in the positive impact this project will have.

I am grateful for the technical knowledge I am gaining, as I will be able to apply it while working for every other non-governmental organisation. However, I am even more grateful to get to know this positive work experience, as every staff member truly supports the organisation’s goals and vision, the whole team is very motivated to do the work well. If I am able to find a job within an organisation with such a positive working atmosphere, I will consider myself lucky.

As a German student who has not been home for a while, I explicitly searched for an internship near my hometown. I was lucky that I found an internship with terre des hommes, as the organisation is located in a city just 20 minutes by train from my hometown. I am currently living with my parents again which is amazing as I can spend time with my family. As my internship is unpaid, my parents are supporting me financially. It is great that the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary allows me to contribute to the costs and I would like to thank those behind the Bursary scheme for all their support.

– Lisa Kramer is studying for an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies

The law of the land

The work experience bursary has given me the opportunity to undertake work experience in the area of law in which I am undertaking my Masters, namely Medical Law & Ethics.  This was an invaluable opportunity to observe the advisory side of the barristers’ work as well as a solid introduction to the Cororner’s court.

I was also fortunate in that I shadowed a Queen’s Counsel in her work on Inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice.  This was very insightful of the workings of the Coroner’s court and informed of the procedures adopted in this specialist court.  As a result, I am well-versed with these.

I have also sat in the trial which was attended by 12 party representatives and also observed by a jury of 13.  The trial related to the suicide incident of a patient whilst at Priory Hospital in London. During my time there, I observed many experts giving evidence and the coroner and barristers questioning them in relation to their dealings with the matters.

I also sat in a conference in which the QC provided advice on a disciplinary investigation. As a result of this invaluable insight into healthcare practice, I gained a practical understanding of this specialist area which reinforced my academic knowledge acquired on my LLLM and cemented my interest for this field of practice.

The skills which I have acquired as a result of this exposure:

  • An understanding to the Coroner’s court
  • An understanding of the procedure of the Coroner’s Court
  • The nature of Inquests
  • The purpose of Inquests
  • Professional regulation of various medical professionals
  • Advisory side of the Bar

I am grateful for the support this bursary has given me in order to complete this work experience, which without the bursary, I would not have been able to afford it. Thank you to Kent and to the donors who make this possible.

– Ibtisam El-Jeaadi

Dr. Feelgood

I was lucky enough to get two weeks’ work experience in an NHS pathology lab. Whilst based in the blood science department which consisted of haematology, virology and clinical biochemistry, I spent most of my time in the latter; although the department suggests unity between the sections, they are very much separate. The clinical biochemistry section is further split up into Automation (the largest area), and 4 other specialist areas; Point of Care Testing, High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Proteins and Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Unfortunately, I was unable to handle the samples due to caution of Hepatitis B, a robust virus which can survive on surfaces for up to 3 months and often survive after the surface has been bleached.

I was able to observe the journey of up to 8000 patient samples a day, through pre-analytical, analytical and post analytical stages. Most of my time was spent in automation where I moved between the four lines and became familiar with the machines and the tests they run. The first line was used for samples coming from A&E and thus including assays for troponin T, a marker for Myocardial infarction, the other lines did not include such assays. I came across multiple methods used to determine contents of the samples including spectrophotometry, Ion Selective Electrodes, Immunoassays, colorimetric assays, electrophoresis and immunoelectrophoresis. Whilst on this experience I realised how important calibration, Internal and external quality controls are when maintaining the machines; to ensure the most accurate and valid results.

After graduation, I must complete a portfolio approved by IBMS in order to officially be a biomedical scientist. Whilst on work experience the difficulty in finding a year placement was reiterated again and again. These warnings did not put me off working within a lab, but instead further motivated me to apply to as many trainee positions as possible and push to get a placement; even if that means moving out of London. These two weeks of work experience confirmed the area of work I want to be in after graduation.

– Jasmine George

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary was a valuable tool for me as it allowed me to attend my work experience at two different sites across London, based in Dagenham and Liverpool Street. The placement itself was extremely useful as it gave me a valuable first hand insight into the structure and working culture of a corporate business. Before the placement I had very little, if any, experience in this kind of working environment and due to the fact that I am usually required to work over the summer due to personal circumstance. This bursary provided me with the financial support to complete the full 2 week term of the placement and an additional training day on Wednesday 12th of July as well as giving me the opportunity to pursue another placement at the end of the summer.

Attending the placement gave me an invaluable insight into the working world, allowing me to network with various different staff members at all different levels of the company. These conversations improved both my confidence and knowledge of the firm as well as enabling to gain an understanding of the various pathways that exist into corporate business and all the different professions it has to offer. Most importantly, the placement provided me with the opportunity to develop strong relationships with those who are able to offer me graduate placements. I was able to demonstrate my strong work ethic and commitment to potentially pursuing a career with the firm after university. Maintaining the connections with these individuals is something that would have simply been impossible without the bursary, as I would not have been able to afford to attend in person. Ultimately, the bursary enabled me to begin trailblazing my own pathway to a graduate career in corporate business.

In my first week I spent a significant amount of time within the finance department mainly shadowing the CFO as well as the head of department. In this time I moved between the numerous sub departments of finance, where I ultimately found myself working closely with the financial accounting and control team, assisting them in the creation of the monthly financial reports. Working within this team was a particular highlight of my week due to the fact that my reason for undertaking the placement was learn about this area and gain an understanding of the day-to-day work schedule. However, my personal career goals how now slightly changed since this and I am now looking at other career paths, but I am keeping it open to possibility because I acknowledge that this experience might be specific to this firm and the culture and diversity of work may be different elsewhere.

Continue reading

And dream of sheep

On a cold day in February, I had the fantastic opportunity to come across Romney Marsh Wools, a small but at the same time flourishing family business in Kent, founded in 2008. The family farm has re-introduced the many uses for their Romney wool by bringing to the public luxurious products such as hats, scarves, throws, lanolin-based toiletries and natural creams to name but a few. My strong interest in social media and communication as well as a family past in the knitwear industry blended perfectly for the position of Social Media Marketer and encouraged me to apply for it through the University of Kent’s CV Competition.

2

I was called for an interview and at my arrival, Kristina Boulden, one of the company’s owners with Paul Boulden, welcomed me warmly to the farm. As I entered the office, I noticed the countless number of prizes and posts covering the office walls, which surrounded the small desk, where all the intensive marketing activity takes place. The rest happens in the remaining thousand acres in which the sheep farming occurs. Two weeks later, I received the delightful news that I had been accepted for the position.

On my first day of work, I had the opportunity to meet Emma, the Digital Marketing Manager, who together with Kristina introduced me to the many facets of the business and opened my eyes to the fascinating history of Romney wool in the South-Eastern Region. During the two weeks, I had to carry out a variety of tasks including posting on social media, creating a newsletter, updating the products on their website as well as coming up with new ideas for promotions to increase the number of followers on the various social media platforms. For my work project, I had also to conduct some market research which involved contacting various retailers in the UK and asking them about their customers shopping habits, buying behaviour and demographics to be used for the marketing campaign. In addition, I had to use Mailchimp to create a promotional newsletter on Aragon Yarns, a supplier of the business and add their vast range of products on the company’s website. It was very challenging and at the same time incredibly rewarding because I could contribute with my ideas directly to the reality of the business. In one of the tasks, I even had to write a blog post on sheep farming, something which I had never done before and this greatly contributed to broaden my knowledge on the many different activities on a farm.

1

Being on a small family business, you can really feel part of each stage of the process from the production to the very final product and integrate all of them in your marketing campaign. There is so much you can do every single day on a farm and being knowledgeable is not enough: you need passion for the job. The hard work of Kristina, Paul, Emma and all other farmers is a testimony to this, which rendered my experience at the farm even more inspiring.

In the two weeks at Romney Marsh Wools, I have learnt so much not only about a job but also about a lifestyle. My thanks go to Kristina, Paul and Emma and the University of Kent Employability Service for making this experience possible.

– Valeria Trabattoni is a 1st year Psychology student at the University of Kent