Summer Internships

Summer Internships

I’m sure most of us incoming third year students at Jacobs University have had a challenging yet fulfilling internship experience over the summer. With all the stress and chaos of a new work environment came valuable lessons learnt and wonderful memories made. Transitioning into adulthood is a daunting experience for a lot of us, and while it’s undoubtedly nerve-wracking I find it to be a source of pride and achievement. We’re all discovering new opportunities, pursuing various avenues, and beginning to establish a foothold over our lives, and I’m happy to see so many inspiring people tackle this challenge head-on!


At Jacobs University, every undergraduate student (apart from those taking Industrial Engineering and Management) must complete a mandatory internship over the summer between second and third year. Lasting a minimum of eight weeks, your internship has to be related to your major. What’s great is the flexibility Jacobs gives you to make this decision: you can do your internship in any country of your choice! There are no strict rules your internship must follow, which allows for so many different opportunities and paths to be explored. Students completed their internships in various cities and countries, representing their respective fields and demonstrating passion and dedication towards their future career. In this article, students recount their internship experiences over the summer, giving you advice and insight that might come in handy when you find yourself searching for internship opportunities in the near future!


Martina: in Zürich, Switzerland

A Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology student, Martinaiden pursued her internship at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Zürich over the summer. The university’s institute is actively involved in many areas of research such as neuroscience, tumor biology, and advanced imaging methods used in pharmacology. Martina decided to enroll in the Biology Undergraduate Summer School programme, where she expressed her interest in laboratory projects related to chronology and sleep research. With the programme covering her accommodation and travel expenses, concerns she had towards funding her internship were eased and she found a lot of enjoyment in her experience.

Over the course of her internship, Martina harnessed various foundational laboratory skills she had adopted from her laboratory classes at Jacobs which had helped her grasp new techniques and concepts that came along with conducting her individual project at the University of Zürich.

However, she did face challenges in being able to fully integrate into the field she was involved with. Despite being a topic, she hadn’t yet explored much of, she was able to overcome gaps in her knowledge with the help of her supervisor and having a hands-on approach in practicing laboratory work to fully comprehend the intricacies of her project’s aims and methods.


When asked what advice she would give to students conducting their internships next summer, Martina believes the most important approach is to “be open-minded to every opportunity that you might come across and always ask your peers about their experiences”.

Llazar: in Marburg, Germany

Llazar conducted his internship at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany. Being a Biochemistry and Cell Biology major, he worked under the institute’s Department of Biochemistry and Synthetic Metabolism, where he was given many opportunities to develop his project.

Llazar’s favourite aspect of his internship experience was in being able to harness skills he had previously learnt during his laboratory courses at Jacobs and apply them to his current workplace environment. He believes much of the practical work conducted during the internship was made easier by having prior knowledge of vital laboratory skills and a solid understanding of the theoretical background of the field he was researching. He is also very appreciative of the friendly and hospitable work culture in the laboratory and was made to feel welcomed in a team-oriented environment.


Llazar was able to experience a lot of Marburg, being a university town with a big festival scene. It’s important to be able to enjoy life outside of work so that you don’t get caught up in monotony and stress, and Llazar was able to make great memories during his internship in Marburg in both his career and personal life.


When asked for his advice to future interns, he strongly recommends students begin searching for internships early and create a list of different options available with their respective deadlines. “You might miss a lot of great internship opportunities that have early deadlines if you start searching too late”.

Nayana: in Windsor, Canada

Studying Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Nayana found herself interning at the University of Windsor in Canada over the summer. Working on computational chemistry, her focus was on modelling potential enzymatic drug targets in pathological bacteria. The experience she’s gained at Jacobs helped her develop necessary research skills which she was able to apply to her internship work.

Nayana loves the diverse environment and beautiful scenery Windsor has to offer, specifically in the sculpture parks where she would go to relax after a long day at work. She also attended the Mexican Festival at Windsor, where she tried their famous street corns for the first time!

Her advice to future interns was “to not doubt yourself and apply to as many projects, universities, and programmes as possible”. Like Llazar, Nayana strongly recommends students begin their internship search early and to pursue any opportunity they take interest in. Nayana offers more specific, practical advice, too, emphasising the importance of working on your CV and cover letters, while also utilising resources available at university by connecting with professors to request reference letters and additional support. “You never know how capable you are until your consistency meets your determination”.

Internships are an amazing way to experience what your future potential career environment might look like, while also building upon important skills like independence and managing responsibilities. It’s important to enjoy it, too, so if you haven’t yet done your internship, look out for fun activities to do while you’re there! Wishing every future intern the best for their summer internship!


Summer Internships