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The University of Southampton
ChemistryUndergraduate study

Placement experience: Helen Scott

MChem placement at Eli Lilly, Windlesham, Surrey

I carried out my six month MChem placement with Eli Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company with sites in US, Spain and UK. I was based at their research centre in Windlesham, Surrey and worked within the drug discovery sector.

I was offered the place after submitting my CV and attending an informal visit day at the site. The people I met on that visit were friendly and their facilities were very impressive and so I was very pleased to hear that they had offered me a placement and I was lucky enough to find a room for rent only a half an hour walk from the site.

During the six months, I worked in a group concerned with lead optimisation and candidate selection/identification and I carried out several syntheses of known pharmaceutical compounds. I also worked on a Lilly project that required route optimisation of an intermediate.

My supervisor and the rest of the team I worked with were all very friendly and extremely accommodating during my time at Lilly, so that, overall, my time there was very enjoyable. The concentrated lab experience proved an invaluable aid to improving my skill and confidence in the lab and I also began to get a feel for how such a large company works.

Overall, my time at Lilly has helped me evaluate what I want to achieve with respect to my career in chemistry and has illustrated to me the type of work I could be doing once I’ve graduated.

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