Now isn't the time to go into everything I've been doing, I'm just going to use this blog to talk about the last week.
It's the first week of the Easter holidays from uni, what have I been doing? revision? riding? away on holiday somewhere?
Nope - I've been an organic chemist for the week. Its definitely been interesting! There's been many an hour clock watching, and the 9-5.15 days have got me rather tired, but I have to say I think it was worth it. I learnt a lot about how things are actually done in industry, compared to in the teaching labs, and I feel a lot more confident as well.
Despite feeling a bit out of my depth, and unsure of myself for a lot of the time I spent in the lab, I have to say I've come out feeling quite confident. My supervisor was full of praise at the end of it all, and (without wanting to sound too bigheaded) I think I deserved it, I did everything that I was asked and didn't mess anything up.
My duties involved everything from running TLCs and LCMS analyses to actually planning reactions. I felt under pressure when doing the important things like making decisions as to the next steps based on analysis results (and of course the planning), but at the same time enjoyed the responsibility because I wouldn't have been asked to do it if he didn't think I was capable, at the same time I quite enjoyed the basic tasks like refilling the racks with test tubes and doing the TLC spotting because it was a nice break from having to think too hard!
As well as gaining practical experience, I learnt a lot about organic chemistry (which will hopefully transfer on to my exam next month!), and I'm really happy with myself for doing it. I'm not good with new situations and unknowns, and haven't slept very well all week, nor have I really eaten properly because I get so worried about the little things. I came so close to ringing up tuesday morning and saying I was ill and wouldn't be in for the rest of the week (nearly did on wednesday as well!), but I persevered. Helped through by all the awesome people I was working with!
Think my favourite part of the week was my couple of hours learning about the computer modelling and stuff. I've since downloaded some of the free software and will no doubt be diving headfirst into that when I get time!
Its definitely given me some career options, because although I spent a lot of the time feeling a little bit bored, I think that'd be the case with a lot of jobs (and I'd perhaps feel a bit less bored if it was my own project work that I was doing!), and I think just the fact that it was labs, and I didn't hate it says a lot!!
Off home for a couple of weeks tomorrow, will be getting in lots of riding, especially as the new bike should be finished by the end of next week! Lots of work to be done too, I'm aiming hugh and want to get 80%+ in at least one of the upcoming exams!