Bristol student and Bright Network member James recently landed a Bioscience Industrial Placement at AstraZeneca. We wanted to found out how he found the application process and any advice he had for his fellow members.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
With a company as large as this, I knew that the scheme would be well tailored towards undergrads like me. Being such an important company in providing medicines around the world, it was exciting to apply for a position where you'll be helping the breakthrough scientists behind this in excellent facilities.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The toughest part was undoubtedly the application questions before being invited to interview. This involved doing a lot of research on topics I was unfamiliar with - especially the question on CRISPR. However, I would say that doing this research has really ignited my interest in this particular field of biochemistry, so I would say there are advantages once you've done the gruelling form!
The group exercises were really relaxed in the end- I forgot there was someone in the background observing!
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
How friendly and approachable the interviewers were. There were a couple of times where I'd be describing a process but couldn't remember the correct term. The interviewers helped me out as they really just appreciated that I had that understanding.
What top tips would you give to your fellow Bright Network members?
For the technical interview, I'd say don't be afraid to say you don't know the answer straight away. Quite often the interviewers would rephrase the question and point you in the right direction to help you!
I'd also say have strong body language throughout all the interviews as it really helps with confidence.
Lastly, make sure to have some questions. Particularly about the science topics written about in the application. I think having these helped me stand out.
Do you have a lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
Arrive early and have a chat with your fellow interviewees! Chatting to them reminded me that actually, everyone was on an equal playing field; no one was more qualified than anyone else.