Industry experience helped me stand out

Joshua Balacky
Joshua Balacky
Undergraduate student
MChem Chemistry with Study in Industry
For his placement year, Joshua went to Germany to work for a major science and technology company. He picked up lots of useful work experience, and got to explore some of Europe.

For my placement I worked for Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. My role was in the analytical department where I identified impurities in drugs as well as identifying the organic LED compounds found in phone screens (such as the iPhone X and Samsung S8).

During my placement, of course I worked in the lab, but also travelled a bit around Germany and Europe: going to Innsbruck in Austria to climb the Alps, visiting cities such as Berlin, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Bamberg, Mainz and Dortmund (for a football game), as well as various cities in Europe such as Amsterdam, The Hague, Prague and Cadiz.

I also attended a couple of Darmstadt SV football games as well as playing myself for the Merck football team. Other activities with Merck included attending a beginner's golf course, joining in the company run and training with an ex-professional Darmstadt football player.


I learnt some German over the course of my 12 month placement, which is great. It also helped me be more organised and a lot more independent.

Joshua Balacky

MChem Chemistry with Study in Industry


It was difficult at first, moving to a foreign country, grappling with the language and holding down a brand new nine-to-five job - or rather, 7.30am-4.30pm. 

The freedom was the thing I enjoyed most about the placement. Being in a foreign country and earning serious(-ish) money for the first time was great, and something I miss now.

I'm hoping it will greatly increase my chances at getting a good job. I feel nowadays with so many people getting a degree, experience is very important to employers and spending it in another country helps you stand out.

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