Our program is very closely associated with the biotechnology and bioscience industries on P.E.I., and is expanding its involvement to the other Maritime provinces. This gives our students access to amazing OJT opportunities.
OJTs are developed in consultation with our industry partners. Mentoring partners from both academic and industry sources prepare and submit a brief job description to the Bioscience Technology instructors. The students then review these descriptions and submit resumés for consideration by the mentoring partners of the projects in which they are interested. We then host a day of interviews at Holland College, where students and potential mentors are allotted 20 minutes to meet and discuss the projects. Each student must interview for at least three positions. At the end of the day, both the students and the mentoring partners rank their choices in order of preference.
Interviews for placements off-island can be conducted via Skype or FaceTime, or, if a student finds their own mentoring partner (potentially in his or her home province), the formal interviewing process is amended.
For more information about providing our students with on the job training opportunities, or to find out more about the program, please contact us.
“One to three scientists work with each principal scientist; they help design the procedures and are in the labs performing the projects decided upon within the department. Technicians (or student placements) work directly with the scientists to perform any necessary assays or procedures within the department. Tasks can vary from reagent preparation to SDS-PAGE gels to emptying the garbage; it is the “Jack of all Trades” job. My part in management of the lab varied. Some of my daily responsibilities included: monitoring the temperature of all coolers, freezers, and pressurized rooms in the dry labs; keeping the stock rooms and labs stocked with consumables; and being in charge of the bioreactors. I also performed an entire IQ/OQ on a set of biochemistry analyzers and trained my team on some key aspects. I read and signed all documentation (following GDP) on any work I performed, and received relevant training before performing any tasks. I was respected as a valued member of the team and took part in daily meetings with our principal scientist to recap the prior day and to discuss the work at hand and the expectations. Every Friday afternoon we met for one hour to discuss in detail the data and results compiled over the week. We would then plan how to achieve the upcoming departmental projects and goals. All of the employees were qualified and trained for the tasks at hand. All procedures and any revisions had to be read, understood, and signed by the employee before performing the task. This way, all employees knew what was expected and how to perform the task. The strict policies on good documentation may be time consuming, but it gives a transparent document trail for all work that takes place there. This results in honest and consistent data recording. Their strict policies and guidelines guaranteed quality science from quality scientists. It was a great first experience in this field of work.”
“I noticed a huge difference between working in a research facility and a production facility, as far as regulations. Production was much more tightly regulated, as everything needs to be reproducible at a large scale. Quality control testing should be exactly the same for every batch of a specific drug or material, results should come out very close (within a set range of each other from batch to batch), and anything deviating from the normal goes through rigorous scrutiny and explanation. All testing and production is done as per a strict SOP, and any deviation from the protocol must be approved and validated by numerous people in upper management. With research, protocols are followed to an extent, but are generally used as a basic guideline. Changes can be made at any given time as long as they are documented and explained, different results are expected and not frowned upon. There is a lot more “freedom” in research when compared to production and this in the end is how and why I fell in love with research. My OJT experience was more than I could ever have asked for and I’m so glad I got the chance to work with such an amazing group of people. I learned so much and even changed my future goals. I now have a new five year plan to earn my Bachelor’s degree here on P.E.I., and then perhaps pursuing a PhD in Europe. My OJT trainer was such an inspiration to me, and I’m really looking forward to learning more and more and more!”