Exploring the Bio Science Park
On 23 November, more than 70 students visited companies at the Leiden Bio Science. This second edition of the BSP Excursion included a fundamentals track and had a special focus on start-ups.
The Bèta Banen Markt (Science Career Event) organised the business orientation for students of the Leiden University Faculty of Science. To facilitate international students, the programme was fully in English. At six companies, university alumni gave presentations about their studies and their current jobs.
Roy Kreekels (22) – Master’s student Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences
Roy wants more clarity about the difference between working for a company and the academic world. ‘After my internship at the university, I’m looking for the next challenge, preferably in the industry.’ His visit to Dr. Reddy and Charles River has given him a better understanding of the various job options within these Bio Science Park companies, he says.
Sandra de Haan (21) – Master’s student Biomedical Sciences
‘I did a minor in Science-Based Business, because I have more affinity with the industry than the academic world,’ says Sandra. During the excursion, she wants to get more details about all the job options. ‘You have to know what a job entails exactly, before you can choose what you want.’
Jelle Hocks (24) & Hans Freijter (26) – Masters’ students Physics
Hans is doing a Physics research master’s and Jelle is doing a specialisation in Science-Based Business. Together they visited Airbus Defense & Space and Leiden Probe Microscopy B.V. Hans is very interested in start-ups. ‘I’d rather be my own boss. A PhD isn’t for me, because I like to take decisions immediately.’ Jelle finds it important to have practical experience. ‘You only learn what business means, when you gain broad experience.’
Aysen Lisa Norte - Works for SysBioSym
Aysen Lisa represents Sysbiosim during the start-up round. She got her PhD in Molecular Biology in Los Angeles and began her job as project manager for the start-up after her postdoc position. Aysen Lisa underlines the importance of experience. ‘If I had the chance, I would have preferred to do multiple internships.’ Her advice for students: ‘Do internships and discover what you like to do!’ She also stresses what other alumni say: networking is very important. ‘Go talk to alumni. They can give you a good overview of their jobs, so you can discover if it is something for you or not.’
Brigitta Witte (alumna Life Science & Technology) – Works for Charles River
Brigitta took twenty Life Science-students on a tour through Charles River, where she is team manager of the Virus Production Services. Even though she works for a company, she hasn’t left research behind. ‘We are in the middle of developing medicines, fundamental research is still being conducted.’ Her advice for students in the last phase of their studies: ‘Look around and talk to people. Not necessarily for job interviews, but just to see if this is what you want to do in the future.’