Hi! I’m Rachel and I am currently in Year 11. I have a keen interest in Science and Maths so have been looking to explore some career options in this area. As most of you know, choosing a career is difficult, there are so many different options and many which you never hear about.
After finishing a torturous FOUR WEEKS of exams, I was given the opportunity to fill my already busy timetable of binge watching Netflix and sleeping, with a 4 day work experience placement at Palintest.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Palintest who make Water Analysis Technologies. In my mind I didn’t think I could compare a career in water to one where I need to fix a broken leg. Nevertheless I had an interest in chemistry and wanted to know more about different options available.
On Day 1 I was introduced to the friendly people of Palintest who I would be working alongside for the week. As with most companies before I could get started I went on a ‘quick’ health and safety tour around the building whereby every single fire extinguisher was introduced; not just the people.
During my week at Palintest I spent time with a variety of people who each had different jobs and talked to me about what their responsibilities were within the business. What really surprised me was the variety of people from different backgrounds, with different qualifications that all worked together as a team to achieve company goals. I realised the importance of every single role and how without one, the company could falter. I also had the chance to use my chemistry knowledge in a real life application which proved to me the importance of the things you learn at school; even if at the time they seem uninteresting!
One of my favourite parts of the week was when I visited the R&D labs whilst they were developing a new project and learnt about all of the chemistry that goes on inside the measuring of the instrument. During this time we also carried out an investigation to see if all the concentration of chlorite could be actively measured using one of the meters. I was then given the chance to present the findings from the investigation back to the Product Manager which for me was one of the most rewarding parts of the week. This experience has made me more confident with public speaking and enhanced my understanding of the importance of communication between other people.
Before arriving at Palintest I didn’t know anything about the business however I am glad to say that I now know more about their fascinating history and what they are working towards. I gained lots of appreciation for roles that do not include as much science such as marketing, which contributes towards sales and whose work is aesthetically pleasing for an OCD person.
Doing my work experience at Palintest has been truly eye opening. Not only have I learnt all about the range of different job roles that a degree in science can lead to, but also that there is at least one birthday every single day at Palintest where there will be cake to consume. However, on a more serious note, Palintest has allowed me to find skills that I am good at and point out how I will need to improve. It has also given me a taster of the ‘real world’ and prepared me for both my further education and career. Overall I think it’s a great experience that has taught me a lot about the countless number of professions that are available after a degree in science; not just the conventional doctor and dentist jobs.
Work experience has been a fantastic learning experience for anyone even thinking about entering the field of science. I would like to encourage anyone to explore the different jobs available for your own subject fields and not to simply follow the conventional paths as it can create a much broader aspect of all of the jobs out there. I didn’t believe that I would find this experience as interesting and enjoyable as it has been, so my advice to others would be to keep both your options and your mind open; you might just be surprised!