Internship with The Company of Biologists gives Irene new insight

Internship with The Company of Biologists gives Irene new insight

Irene Pla-Navarro wanted to gain an insight into an alternative career path to research and challenge herself in a business style working environment. Irene, a student in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, chose The Company of Biologists to host her internship, where she spent 12 weeks from April to June 2016.

The Company of Biologists is a not-for-profit publishing company based in Cambridge. This was the second internship for a UEA student at The Company of Biologists. The main objective of the internship was the assessment of citation patterns in their various journals, and looking at whether articles rejected by The Company of Biologists journals get published elsewhere. This involved the retrieval of information needed from different data-bases (Web of Science and Bench Press), handling and analysis of large sets of data and identification of patterns and trends in the analyzed data that could be used to improve the current publishing programme. Irene presented the results and conclusions of this research to the managing editors. The results of Irene’s research will help The Company of Biologists to assess the performance of their different journals and identify trends and patterns for their content success in terms of citations.

Irene found the internship experience a constructive challenge to adjust to such a different working style and believes this has made her a more competent employee in the future. “This experience provided me with a completely different perspective of the publishing process that will become extremely helpful when submitting future papers for publication”, reflects Irene. “Also, adjusting to the business work life will have a major beneficial effect on my time-managing and social skills, helping me to become much more flexible and competent in the future” she continues. Irene also found internship to be a great opportunity to experience an alternative career path to research, helping her to open her mind to very different working dynamics.

Irene also developed her communication skills, presentation skills, team working and increased her self-confidence during her 12 week placement. Facing the challenge of obtaining and analyzing large data sets, very different to those encountered during her scientific research, forced her to develop new methods and strategies in order to successfully complete her objectives within the given deadline.

Irene felt that her internship was a great opportunity to experience a non-academic working environment that will help her consider other career options following her PhD. She advises that although it may seem an interruption of your research project, the PIPS internship should be approached with an open mind and enjoyed!