Kaur Alasoo from University of Tartu, Estonia completed an internship at Schneider lab at EMBL, Heidelberg from April to August, 2010. The internship at Schneider lab was the first internship organized exclusively by the Student Council. Here is what he had to say about the experience
"In April 2010 I was given the opportunity by ISCB Student Council to do a five-month internship at EMBL-Heidelberg at Schneider Lab. Now, after five of my life's most exciting months have passed, it is time to share the experiences.
The first thing that I gained was obviously practical research experience. In Schneider Group I joined the Reflect (http://www.reflect.ws) project, which is a service that tags protein and chemical names on web pages and shows additional information about them in a popup. For the next 5 months, my task was to add the full Wikipedia into Reflect and as a result make the tool useful to a much larger audience than scientist working in biology and chemistry. I am happy to announce that we have just finished this functionality and hope to release it in the upcoming weeks.
Although research experience is undoubtedly valuable, I believe that something else I gained at EMBL is even more important for me. It is the whole international experience - working together (and having fun) with people from all around the world. Even in our small Reflect team we had people from Australia, Estonia, Denmark, Germany and Spain. I am really glad that I have met all of them and I am convinced that they will prove to be invaluable throughout my forthcoming research career. Furthermore, having spent 5 months at EMBL as given me a new perspective on what level of co-operation is actually possible between European countries. EMBL is really one of the greatest examples of successful co-operation in Europe.
The amazing five months are now over, but I am sure that they will keep influencing my life for many years to come. I just joined Erasmus Mundus Systems Biology Master's Program at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and most probably will start my PhD in two years. Whether it is going to be at EMBL or somewhere else will remain unknown for some time, but what is definitely sure is that this internship has changed me a lot. It has encouraged me to more eagerly look for opportunities and pursue my research interests."