An Industrial Placement with Ridgeway Research: What a Year!

Every year we take on a university student to work with us on their sandwich year industrial placement. As we come to the end of an academic year we say a fond goodbye to our out-going university student. We asked her about her experiences here at Ridgeway Research and what advice she’d give to other students in her position.

What a year! I’m sad to say I’m slowly approaching my final few weeks at Ridgeway Research. Despite my placement being completed amidst a global pandemic, I feel as though the practical experience and skills I have gained will benefit me greatly in my personal and professional development.

What was working with Ridgeway Research like?

Strong team bonds are part of the ethos at RRL.
Strong team bonds are part of the ethos at RRL.

Ridgeway Research provided an ideal place to get good experience of many sides of the company. This placement not only gave me a deep insight as a Research Assistant, but also how the company works under GLP accreditation. This opportunity gave me the right exposure to learn a lot about myself. I learnt about how I like to work and I know I wouldn’t have had the same experience at university. I got the chance to work independently, work in a team, work under pressure with deadlines and discuss things with other people. The most important thing is, I not only worked to work but also got a lot of experience back.

My placement year was full of excitement as I was exposed to new responsibilities and developed new skills along the way. My confidence in the industry grew tremendously. To the point where I was helping out colleagues in my free time in order to better understand the nature of the job and learn about the different departments within my organisation. Days at work varied, and each day was different. The office culture was quite relaxed, but if I ever needed support I knew I had it.

I’m so grateful for all the opportunities and responsibilities, my manager, Maggie Fisher, has given me as well as other members of my team. She has been extremely supportive, and understanding when I had to prioritize my university assignments. Her continuous guidance, encouragement and feedback has constantly benefited my growth and learning here at RRL.

What do you feel were your main achievements this year?

The most important achievement I gained was a sense of working in an office environment. I had real responsibilities, real deadlines and everyone treated me like a real member of the team. It feels really great to contribute to the completion of research studies. This made my work environment interesting and worthwhile and helped me develop different transferable skills. I was definitely a bit nervous and intimidated starting here, but it’s only been a year and I’ve already seen so much development in myself. I feel if I did not have this placement I wouldn’t be this confident!

What did you find challenging in your placement?

Knowing the remote location of Ridgeway, the only challenge I had to face was not being able to get my driving licence due to COVID restrictions. But I was fortunate enough to get the help and support from my colleagues.  

Good luck to our uni student who is finishing her industrial placement!
Good luck to our uni student who is finishing her industrial placement!

What advice would you give to future students in a similar position?

I definitely recommend applying for this internship. You gain the experience that you really need to apply for jobs in the future. On top of that, you meet new people from the company and it feels really great to contribute to the research.

I would like to say thank you to all the Ridgeway staff for being so welcoming and a making me feel like a valued member of the team. I’m excited about what lies ahead and eager to return to Aberystwyth University to complete my undergraduate degree.