I graduated last summer with a degree in Biology. When I finished I hadn’t got a large amount planned, all I knew was that I wanted to remain in Bristol. I was open to all jobs to start off with but my overall aim was to head down a biological route.
In November I had an opportunity to have a meeting with a member of staff from the UoB Careers Service, this was really helpful in clarifying the types of jobs I could see myself doing and what steps I should take next. She also told me about internship schemes Bristol University offer with local SMEs.
After several emails and a meeting with two of the company directors, I was offered a one month paid internship setup with LettUs Grow; a vertical farming startup who are pursuing work in aeroponic and farm control technology.
My role involved researching into the plant science surrounding a vertical farm system, with a main focus on seed biology and the steps of germination. I was also able to see the commercial side of vertical farming as they have links with micro-green supplier Grow Bristol. This provided useful context to the work I was doing.
To begin with, the work I was doing felt similar to the projects and literature reviews I’d done throughout University. However, soon after I was pushed to think in ways that I wasn’t used to. Structuring my work and planning to fit with the company’s rhythm, with strong reliance on my own ideas.
Another great opportunity has been to experience the inner workings of a start-up, seeing all the various aspects required to keep a company of that scale running, which has been a fantastic learning curve.
“Billy has proven himself to be a fantastic employee and real asset to the team. His ability to quickly integrate into our team and straight away begin in-depth research was very impressive, particularly on a one-month internship. It was this ability to conduct high-quality, independent research that meant we found ways to initially extend that internship, but eventually offer him a full-time role” – Jack Farmer, LettUs Grow Director and CSO
When the internship finished, I was offered a contract to continue my work for the next few months and in May I will by starting a full-time position as a Plant Researcher at LettUs Grow.
I have been lucky to find a job that I really enjoy, where I am able to use my degree and work for a company developing innovative ideas for food production. All this has been hugely helped by the Careers Service and taking part in the internship scheme.
Billy, LettUs Grow Intern.
You can find out more about the SME Internship Schemes run by the Careers Service here.