Dafydd tells us about his placement as a Research Assistant at Digital Farming and how it helped him become more employable.
What is the name of your placement and what did it involve?
Research Assistant at Digital Farming. The role involved measuring and adjusting the pH and EC of the water tanks for the strawberries and microgreens, as well as recording data such as temperature and humidity by using different technical devices. I also completed desk research tasks such as the study around the effects of different light intensity on strawberry yields, competitors for LED, methodology for strawberries trials, and other research into Everbearers and Junebearers. All this was then
condensed and made into a presentation through a form of a systematic literature review, which is a skill I have developed through this Internship.
One of the other main projects I was involved in was the planting of microgreens in preparation for the Royal Welsh Show where I was interviewed for TV in Welsh! This gave me a fantastic opportunity to develop and demonstrate my communication skills.
What attracted you to the internship?
I was always interested in pursuing a career in sustainability and horticulture and this opportunity meant I could gain experience in an industry I was passionate about, but also learn something new as my knowledge of hydroponics and vertical farming was very little at the time. Upon completion I wanted to hopefully secure long-term employment, as well as gain a greater insight in this sector and develop myself as a professional.
What did you gain from the internship?
I have gained knowledge in a growing sector and I now have skills to implement in this industry such as how to sow, germinate, monitor and harvest crops as well as analyse and report on results. I have been trained to use different nutrients and chemicals such as Jet5, calcium, iron, pH up and down and know their purpose and when to use them.
My IT skills have improved massively in programmes like Excel and PowerPoint as well as research skills on programmes like google scholar and being introduced to new programmes such as Mendeley, Teams and Slack. My communication skills have been enhanced immensely both in Welsh and English in conjunction with my confidence from taking part in this Internship.
I would highly recommend the Santander Internship Scheme as it has given me the opportunity to seek experience in a sector that I would never have thought I would be able to be a part of. It also allows you to become a part of the Santander graduate network where you can meet some interesting people that can lead to great opportunities.
Dafydd Aron Thomas, final year BSc Geography (Human).
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