I have now completely finished my courses and presentations and have received final grades for the final course of the year ‘Practical Placement 1’ in Karolinska. This I feel is an appropriate time to relay my experience and my overall assessment of the course for those of you coming to KI or just thinking of applying.
I will begin with the benefits of this course which unfortunately do not outweigh the flaws, which I truly hope will change come next year based on current student feedback. As I have stated in previous blogs I was working for Kradle Life Sciences, a company located in Uppsala. The experience within the company itself was a very pleasant one and I was so grateful to have the opportunity to learn from my supervisor who was so inspirational and dedicated. I also enjoyed working with my co-worker Stefania and we both put so much effort into our work, and thoroughly enjoyed our project and meeting with stakeholders and conducting interviews with such influential individuals in the medical device industry.
Regarding the actual grade of the course this was not based on the working period but rather on the final report and also on an ‘individual reflection’ which was to be written about your experiences and how you felt the work proceeded throughout the internship.
I, along with many classmates, have suggested that next year the actual work and perhaps feedback from the supervisor in each company be taken into consideration for the final grade, as this is a 9 credit module it is quite important to get an overall view of the student work and participation. This was quite evident as some of my classmates were working every day 9-5pm within a company while others worked perhaps 1-2 hours a day. Unfortunately in this instance many students were unhappy with the final grades received for the course. This was in part as a result of the perceived lack of understanding of the student needs. Their was quite a lot of disorganization within the course and some of the grading criteria was quite unclear, particularly when it is so important special attention should always be given and the grading criteria should always be as clear as possible, this was not the case for this course with many students confused and thus the results received were met with disappointment and a feeling of unfairness, given how much work many of us had put into this course. Hopefully this shall all be improved next year for the incoming students as we, as a class, must submit a ‘course feedback’ document illustrating the weaknesses and strengths of the course to the course directors whom shall assess the information and, hopefully, make the relevant changes for the following year.
This I hope is done as this module was interesting and exciting within my very first placement, but I felt the actual grading was so far removed from the practical placement aspect, that it almost felt like 2 separate modules. Thus the grading system and subsequent confusion, over something as important as grading criteria, have been unfortunate drawbacks which I hope will change for all of the incoming Bioentrepreneurs.