As a child, I was a big fan of the cartoon series ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’; which, for those who have not seen it, is about a young boy who owns a secret laboratory in his bedroom and for most of the time uses it to keep his sister away from it. I was deeply drawn to Dexter’s ability to find solutions to his problems using science. This fascination of mine is one of the reasons, I believe, I chose to study at Jacobs University. The rigorous education at Jacobs has helped me learn more about Science but one other way Jacobs helps its students gain experience in any field is through the mandatory internship.
I was really excited to receive an internship offer from the Natural Products and Medicinal Plant Research Group in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Over the summer I had the chance to work on anti-cancer and anti-diabetics projects involving indigenous South African plants. I worked with one of the Post-docs who supervised my work and I learnt various methods of screening and techniques used to perform assays on toxicity and so much more. One of my favourite parts of my internship experience was attending a forum on indigenous plants usage in South Africa. I found it interesting to learn about medical properties of plants that were already in use and I was also excited about visiting Qwaqwa, which is a town bordering Lesotho. I had the chance to go gaming and to climb up hills in the Drakensberg.
Jacobs supports its students to find internships through the Careers Services Centre. I learnt about my internship by reading a report from a previous Jacobs student that had done their internship at the same institution and I was lucky enough to be given a chance to do my internship at the same place.