If you thought there was little to be gained from internships – think again.

Meet some of our students who have just completed the Science Internship unit (SCI3920).
They have some great stories to share about their experiences ranging from reviewing the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code to commercial lab work, to assisting with ground-breaking research and more.


Eleonora Millie Kay

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Biomedicine Majoring in Chemistry and Genetics

During her internship, Ellie worked at the School of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Alfred Centre, reviewing and analysing submissions received following a recent consultation conducted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to produce a report quantifying industry, medical professional and consumer thoughts regarding the recommendations discussed. Together with her internship supervisor Dr Ken Harvey, Ellie is co-author of a submission to the consultation on the Therapeutic Goods Code, with her work documented for parliamentarians for further discussion over the recommendations.  

“I decided to enrol in the SCI3920 unit as a way to experience a different method of learning compared to my usual subjects. I also hoped that with a broad range of interests, it might provide some clarity as to what path I could see myself pursuing after my degree. While my studies have  given me some background knowledge of the Therapeutic Goods Act and complementary medicine advertising, I found that my scientific literacy, report writing and reading comprehension were invaluable skills that I tapped upon during my internship. Dealing with multidisciplinary colleagues in the workplace, I learnt communication skills, initiative-taking and working independently - skills which I’ve picked up outside of a uni lab setting. While I initially did not consider myself particularly ready to produce a report in the realm of public health when I first began this internship, being able to ultimately contribute to an ongoing debate affecting real people with my report potentially influencing decision makers has given me some confidence that I can make meaningful contributions to evidence-based policies in the future’s most pressing issues.”


Tram Huynh

BSc Major in Pharmacology,  Minor in Developmental Anatomy

Tram was interning at the National Measurement Institute where she was part of a team performing chemical and microbiological analysis of food products for clients.

“What an eye-opening experience the SCI3920 was for me! During my internship, I was guided every step of the way by my team mates in setting up instruments and doing commercial lab work. Although I was an intern, my colleagues trusted me to be able to work with expensive instruments and performing samplings correctly for their clients. My undergraduate degree has given me an understanding of scientific literature, skills in statistical analysis, problem-solving and lab techniques - skills which came in handy as I started working with my team mates right from the start. SCI3920 is a great bridging unit to get me ready to either pursue further research or join the workforce with practical experience under my belt. I really felt that I’m contributing to real outcomes - my work produces result which is what the Institute’s clients are paying for. It’s good to prepare early if you plan to go on internship - networking is key to securing openings. Sound out your lecturers, friends and even relatives! You never know what doors can open for you.”


Jona Mustafovsk

Bachelor of Science Majoring in Psychology

Jona interned with The Sleep and Circadian Medicine Laboratory, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University. Jona was working on shifts to screen and prepare participants and perform data analysis of the results.  

“The Sleep and Circadian Medicine Lab investigates a variety of sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnoea and how these disorders can affect behaviours such as decision- making and our circadian clocks. Initially, I felt that as a student intern, I wasn’t able to contribute much to the research, but I was proven wrong. I had frequent team meetings with the researchers who wanted to know what my research interests were and ensured that my time with them was beneficial to help me in what I want to do in the future. Learning how to perform EEGs to measure brain waves, data analysis and interpreting the results made me feel like I’m part of the team. The experience has made me realise that I much prefer to do data analysis rather than doing clinical work. In the future, I hope to pursue an honours and subsequently postgraduate studies. Following my completion of the internship, I’m still working shifts with the Lab researchers as I loved my time working with them there.”


Audrey Miranda Prasetya

Bachelor of Science Majoring in Ecology and Conservation Biology, Minoring in Zoology

Audrey interned at AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience - a joint initiative between the Department of Environment and Primary Industries and La Trobe University. Audrey was part of the diagnostic and immunology team where she tested animal samples (including blood, faeces, ear swabs and tissue samples) before these animals were certified for export.

“I got my placement through a friend who knew of openings within AgriBio. Although I don’t have a background in microbiology or biology, the internship with Agribio was a great opportunity to explore working in an area that I’ve had no in-depth experience in. More importantly, enrolling in the unit allowed me to compare industry and lab experiences as I've never had any exposure in industry labs. Right from the get-go, I was shadowing my colleagues to learn how to conduct tests such as cryogenical and biological assays in testing blood samples with antigens. The lab also works with CSIRO health animal laboratories to investigate the presence of viruses in wildlife that may be carriers of diseases - I certainly learned a new battery of tests, viruses and safety protocols beyond my current uni lab experiences! Colleagues were really keen to teach if you are keen to learn. I am definitely developing  ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, time-management, communicating with your fellow lab members to make sure no unnecessary repetitions were done and to get a clear overview of what’s happening in the lab. While I’m  still trying to figure out if I prefer working in industry rather than research, this internship experience has helped shaped my preference to pursue a career  in academia in the future.”