In the first week of July 2017, Diamond Light Source opened its doors to welcome a new group of students from across the UK, all eager to gain an invaluable insight into life at the UK’s National Synchrotron.
In total, 27 students completed 14 projects (roughly two people in each group), thereby expanding their knowledge in a variety of different areas. Each team was allocated a task to carry out within their respective fields, making them apply their skills to real life situations. Although it was a step up from their general curriculum, they found it satisfying to have been given genuine responsibility in a professional workplace.
Facing numerous challenges with constant enthusiasm, the students actively encouraged supervisors to push them beyond their limits in order to take as much away from the projects as possible.
As work experience students ourselves, we experienced first-hand how friendly the community of Diamond is and how the atmosphere of scientific curiosity permeated the building. When interviewing other students, we could hear how engrossed they were in their projects as they explained to us what they were trying to achieve.
Projects around the synchrotron
Other projects consisted of utilising the students’ knowledge of chemistry and biology to prepare samples of compounds and use various instruments to analyse their properties.
Students with a love of physics did everything from soldering circuits to investigating magnets.
When we asked Andrew about if he had participated in any work experience, he said he hadn’t but he had in fact worked in a few shops and did a paper round. He told us that when he was our age, he wouldn’t have imagined himself working as CEO in the future, however, whenever an opportunity arose, he took it.
“If there’s an opportunity and it looks interesting, go for it.”
–A. Harrison, CEO of Diamond Light Source