Profile: Rachel Hansen
Qualification: Bsc (Hons) Genetics
Role at Pacific Edge: Research Associate
Rachel recently made the transition from Intern to Lab Technician, and is now working as a full time Research Associate. We ask her some questions about her internship and what it's been like making the shift.
What drew you to applying for an internship at Pacific Edge?
I was looking for a job where I could apply the skills I’d developed throughout university, as well as continuing to learn new things. The internship at Pacific Edge seemed the perfect job to do this while learning more about a new side of science that I didn’t know a lot about beforehand.
What did you most enjoy about the internship?
I really enjoyed being able to be creative. The internship allowed me to apply a lot of my own ideas and ‘think outside of the box’, which I hadn’t had to do a lot of before this internship. Also, the team at Pacific Edge is so friendly and supportive which made the whole experience really enjoyable!
What aspect of the internship did you find most useful?
The most valuable part of the internship was being able to contribute my own ideas and help design experiments, along with my supervisor. My internship was a lot of trial and error, so there was a lot of adapting and developing new experiments to see what worked. This allowed me to develop further critical thinking and independence in my research.
Tell us about your new role at Pacific Edge
My role at Pacific Edge as a laboratory technician is similar to my internship in that I'm continuing to develop my project and perform laboratory experiments. The main change is that we are more involved in the development of other projects and the company as a whole.
How have you found the transition from university to a commercial setting?
I found that it was a good transition, as I was still able to apply similar techniques to that I had learnt, just from a different angle. It was more just a change of what the overall goal was and trying to think more innovatively.
What do you love about the Dunedin lifestyle now that you’ve finished university?
Dunedin's a relaxed and friendly environment, which makes the transition out of university into the workforce that much easier. It's very social and I have more time to explore and enjoy the city now that I have a structured work schedule.
Any general advice or tips for aspiring interns?
The main advice that I would give would be that you are not expected to know everything coming out of university. You'll gain a lot of knowledge on the job - you just need to be enthusiastic and willing to learn! As well as this, don’t be afraid to contribute your own ideas, as it's really valuable to have different perspectives.
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