mercredi 13 février 2019

About intership

I am frequently asked  about making intership in my "lab", and I have to admit that I refused this for 20 years, because it takes me time to drive younger colleagues that don't have the slightest idea of what is science and what is scientific research. Even this morning, one of my younger friends was ready to use tap water in order to make an experiment. Tap water in science ? Ohhhhhh! Yesterday another one was ready to boil concentrated hydrochloric acid directly in the lab (no ventilating hood, or better, no reflux, in order to avoir releasing in the atmosphere a very dangerous compounds).
But anyway, when interns come, I do my best to help them to learn.

Now, the question is to know if this particular place is useful for them, and I propose to discuss this on the particular question that I received by email yesterday. 

About internship opportunity, my goal is working in the industry. However, most industries won't accept interns unless they have Master (Bac +5) at least for this field. 
Therefore, I want to do some research in the lab during the time of my study to gain some experiences, insights and deeper knowledge before entering the industries. I understand finding an internship position in here could be difficult; however, if you could spend sometime giving some advice about getting a position. Thank you very much and have a wonderful day.

My answer is :

Sorry for the delay, but I had to think about it.

I know that people are not accepted in the industry without professional experience... but I also know (and this was very clear)  that students who did not have internship in the industry are not accepted, because the industry then says that they were not interested really, and the proof is that they did not have internship in the industry.

There are certain internships in the industry (my two sons did it, and so many students), and you can trust me, you have to apply everywhere (and get help from your professors) to get such internship !

Now, the question is to be more precise, because the appearance (making an internship in the indsutry) is of zero interest compared to the content... and you don't tell me your goal : in which industry do you want to work, and in which part of the industry? Please don't answer that the internship will help you to decide, because this would not be a good answer: in an intership, you will see only a tiny detail of the place where you work, and it will certainly not give you the possibility to choose safely.

In short, "getting a position" is not the key. The issue is : which help do you propose to people to give them during a particular intership ? This would be based on particular skills that you acquired previously and that you can tell them explicitly !

One point : "research in the lab" does not mean anything, and it is perhaps not appropriate. I explain : if you are an artist, you make art research, and this is not a skill for being a process engineer in the food industry; if you are a scientist, you make scientific research, and this is certainly not good for the industry; so that the research that you need to do is "engineering", if you want to be an engineer. Now, the "lab": a lab is a place where people do technical activities. A lab of science has nothing to do with a lab for formulation in the industry, for example.

Hope that helps !

Shall I add something?

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