Experience Internship NEM – Jean Luc van den Beld
For my Master Thesis with the Laboratory of Nematology I spend most of my time in the lab creating a Double Introgression Line in Caenorhabditis elegans. For my Master Internship I wanted to delve more into the bioinformatical side.
For the last six months I was an intern at Wageningen Plant Research, subdivision Biointeractions and Plant Health. There I was part of the Microbiome group and mainly worked on the statistical analysis of two large datasets containing microbiome samples. I was also given a lot of freedom and was encouraged to experiment and try new things. Per example, I ended up experimenting with novel statistical methods to validate old methods.
I learned a lot over the course of the internship. Not only hard skills such as programming in R or other bioinformatical tools, but also soft skills that are useful in a business setting, such as how to properly prepare meetings, plan longer projects, how to clearly explain my findings or a problem I am stuck on or how to be productive when working from home.
I found the working environment at the subdivision Biointeractions and Plant Health to be very pleasant, even though the internship was fully remote due to the pandemic, and I only saw my colleagues through online meetings and chat. I always felt welcome and appreciated in the Microbiome group and the larger subdivision. When presenting results, I would always get a large amount of interest and useful feedback. I could always ask questions when I had them. My supervisor had a lot of confidence in my capabilities and allowed me to work independently most of the time.
I would heavily recommend doing an internship, I personally had a great time and gained a lot of new knowledge on how a business operates and what value I can add to a company.