After my major thesis at the department of virology, I had to do a four-month internship in Germany to complete my master studies in Biotechnology. However, this was not possible due to corona crises and associated travel restrictions. I was left with the option of having an internship here in the Netherlands. However, all efforts to secure an internship position in the Netherlands also proved futile. As an international student on a scholarship, I am required to complete my study on time, due to funding restrictions. I was stranded and worried. However, I was able to secure a project at the department of Nematology through Arjen Schots, with the help of my study advisor Marian Vermue.
I knew I was going to do something different from my major thesis but did not really know what to expect. It was a mixed feeling kind of thing. I worked on a meta-analysis of helminth induced diversity changes in the gut microbiota. Diversity changes of the gut microbiota has been shown to affect the health of the host. Since helminths mostly occupy the same niche as the gut microbiota, there exists possible microbe-helminth interactions which could affect the microbiota diversity, immune regulation and ultimately health. Interesting right! Not only was this project interesting but I was privileged to have met two people who really motivated, supported, encouraged, and shared with me their experience and knowledge. Yea, my hardworking and very friendly supervisors; Arjen Schots and Stefan Geisen. I really admire them very much. Also, I was able to meet other students and staff virtually from the department of Nematology. I really enjoyed working on this project and interacting with people from the department. I hope for the best in my academic journey.