Internships during the Bachelor's and Master's phase are a very important part of the preparation for a successful career. Although students can apply for an internship in the academic environment or in industry, the vast majority of internships are conducted within the university. Internships within academic groups in the life sciences are usually focused on academic research and an academic career. This seems counter-intuitive, as most graduates these days do not pursue an academic career.
The Green Student Lab (GSL) is an initiative of the RNA Biology & Applied Bioinformatics (RB&AB) group and the FNWI focal-point "Green Life Sciences". We chose to offer students internships that focus on a career outside of the academic environment. The GSL is run like a regular -independent- lab, but, it obtains research questions from non-academic parties, such as breeding companies. In addition, extra courses are offered that are not part of any standard academic life science curriculum. These courses will focus on additional skills or company related information. Examples of these courses include: job interview training, planning and time management, presentation, professional self-awareness and the value of research. An internship in the Green Student Lab will be assessed similarly as a conventional academic internship.
The primary objective of the Green Student Lab is to deliver a substantial contribution to the successful education of a higher number of qualified and suitable employees for the green industry by creating a new training environment for students in between the university and industry.