Internship Experiences - BIOTEC, Thailand (2016)
Industrial training experience in BIOTEC, Thailand
Hajar Hasan, 2016 (CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT)
It is really an incredible experience for me to be given the opportunity to pursue industrial training internationally. BIOTEC is one of the premier research institutes in Thailand and they provide great environment for students to experience scientific working environment.
I am working under supervision of Dr. Suthasinee Somyong from Genomic Research Laboratory, Genome Technology Research Unit. During the first month of internship, I was equipped with training and practices to familiarize myself with the techniques and skills to be applied to conduct the assigned research project. The project that I am working on involved genomics study of oil palm from diverse population and required basic knowledge of computational biology.
Dr. Suthasinee and other lab members are very helpful in many ways. They are always concerned on how I am doing and helped me whenever I faced problems with my experiment. Eventhough I am only an intern student, they treat me professionally and we work together to achieve the objectives with excellence. They teach me so many things in terms of research mainly and also other things.
Basically, my daily work routine starts at 9 am and ends at 5 pm. However, BIOTEC does not have any specific time for employees to come to work. Employee may come to the office as soon as 7.30 am and finish work as late as they want. We also have no specific time for lunch break and one special routine that I like is that we always going out for lunch together. We tend to wait until all lab members are finished with their work and then we will go to the canteen together.
Besides that, one thing that I valued the most is the opportunity to share my opinions about research project. We often casually discussed about everyone’s research projects and talked about how we can improve the result and minimize the error or anything related. I really feel like I am part of the professional team as if I am not a final year student who is doing internship. And also, I just finished with the final presentation for BIOTEC where the intern students are given opportunity to present their research project in front of other researchers and students. It was a really nerve-racking moment for me to present in front of other professionals, but with my lab members’ presence in the room, I believe I did well for them.
Apart from expanding my research experience, I also got to learn how to survive in a completely different world where the language and cultures are alien to me. In fact, food is the main problem as majority of the people in my area are Buddhists so it is quite hard for me to look for halal food. Alternatively, I decided to cook by myself and I bring lunchbox to work everyday. Yet, the language barrier arise whenever I went out for groceries shopping as the sellers did not understand English. So the google translate application is always be my hero at those times.
Other than that, one of the advantages of doing international internship is that I can travel to explore the other parts of the country. I sometimes spent my weekend or public holidays to travel to suburbs of Bangkok such as Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi, Lopburi, Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Khao Yai and few other places. It is really an awesome experience to be able to learn and see the locals’ lifestyle and fall in love with the nature in Thailand.
Last but not least, I thank FIST and JJIM for allowing and supporting me to do my internship in BIOTEC, Thailand. And my special gratitude to Ms. Papawee Nupason and Dr. Suthasinee Somyong of BIOTEC for helping me with everything regarding the internship application and all. To be honest, I learn a lot of things that I believe will be useful for me in future and my basic knowledge of biotechnology that I learn in the university helped me in so many ways in order for me to do well during this internship period.
I hope I did well and have made everyone proud. It is an honour for me to be here representing FIST and UMP and at the same time promoting UMP to the other part of the world.
National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC)
14 July 2016