Hello everyone, I am Jorge Armero Gimenez and I have just finished my Msc in Plant Biotechnology. During the past 6 months, I have been doing my internship at LenioBio GmbH, a company embedded within the Fraunhofer Institute in Aachen (Germany). LenioBio produces a eukaryotic cell-free protein synthesis platform known as ALiCE®.
Given that I cannot share the specific contents of my research, I will reflect on the experience itself. From the first moment I arrived, I was in complete charge of the project assigned to me, permitting me to develop my own ideas from scratch. My supervisor, as well as the colleagues at the company served both as firm support as well as inquisitive researchers with whom to discuss our ideas. The friendly attitude shown from the beginning really helped me in becoming confident and as part of the team from almost the first days. I feel very grateful that I was lucky enough that, even when the Corona pandemic struck the most, I could continue with my research (with enhanced security measures of course).
Performing this internship has taught me a lot, not only scientifically but also about myself. Up until now, I had never been in a company setting. This change in atmosphere, as well as the added responsibilities that it bestows, have taught me how to be more patient and self-confident in my scientific skills. More importantly, it has allowed me to be less critical and stressed about setbacks, which are a frequent companion of science. If you are in doubt whether to do an internship or not because of a lack of experience in the company field, I would strongly suggest to overcome these fears. Doing an internship is the only way you will be able learn so much about both, applied sciences and yourself. Furthermore, an internship is the perfect opportunity to do so, as you will have the supervision and support from people from the university and the company, who are there to help you learn. Therefore, do not be afraid of stepping out of your comfort-zone and try and internship, you will not regret it!