Becca Wilkinson – University of Bath

Becca is a Physics student at the University of Bath, soon to finish her one-year internship placement at Paragraf, before returning to her third year studies.

“I chose to take a year in industry because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after finishing uni and thought that maybe having a placement year would help me to work out what it is that I want to do, or not want to do, afterwards.”

Becca had previously studied a little about graphene and had attended a couple of lecture series about its potential applications, so was academically curious about what Paragraf was doing. After attending her second interview at Paragraf, she knew she wanted to do a placement year here. “Everyone I met was so friendly and seemed to genuinely enjoy the work they were doing!”

At the beginning of the year, Becca was given a lot of freedom to direct the year in a way that she would enjoy. “My line manager was frequently checking in to see if there was anything going on that I was particularly interested in being involved in. In the end I went down the research route, becoming involved in developing our fundamental understanding of graphene. Along the way, I also produced full devices for a while, tried out some new chemical techniques, and even joined in with Business Development for a day.

Outside of the lab, I have had the chance to attend personal development courses and webinars, visit external partners (when pandemic restrictions allowed) and become involved in the interviewing process.

In my opinion, a role in R&D – wherever it is based – is an ideal bridge between university and the workplace. I found that I could use things I had learnt at uni and even develop that knowledge further, whilst getting an idea of what it is like to be outside of the university. Having this type of experience is beneficial if I decide this is the career path I want to take. Even if it’s not, having any type of experience is definitely something employers look for! I have really enjoyed my year at Paragraf – the friendly culture has made it very easy to fit in, even for someone relatively new to the office/work environment. It has been great fun getting to know everyone over the last year and I will truly miss the people at Paragraf.”

Becca Wilkinson