Tara Tosic spent 4 weeks in Summer 2011 working with Dr Jorick Vink at The Armagh Observatory on a project entitled ’The most massive stars in the Universe’.
How would you describe yourself and your interests?
I love science and trying to understand the world around me. It opens my mind and motivates me to understand even more.
Why did you apply for the placement?
As I am sure I am going to study science, I wanted to experience what a science job would look like. I wanted to learn what being a scientist is all about.
How did you feel on the first day of your placement?
I was a bit nervous, I wasn’t entirely sure what my supervisors expected me to do, or what materials I was going to be using. I was also excited, and I was quite eager to start my work.
How did you spend your time on the placement?
I organised my time at the observatory: I had to make sure I had enough time to do background research on my project, complete the work and write my report. Besides my project, I spent quite a lot of time talking to PHD students and various astronomers to get a real idea of what the job was like.
What did you learn from your placement?
I learnt that astronomy is more fascinating than I imagined it to be, and I found out I needed a whole range of skills for the job (computer programming for example…).
What do you want to do next?
I am planning on studying physics and maths at university after I’ve finished school. I might do “a year in industry” via an organisation that funds job placements for students in their gap year. I really want to be sure I am making the right choice for my subjects at university.
What do you want to do as a career?
I’m not entirely sure, but I’m pretty certain it will be related to physics.
What advice would you give to others like you thinking of taking part in a summer research placement?I’d recommend it for anyone who is planning on pursuing a career in science. It is an enriching and learning experience. You get to work alongside scientists who treat you as a colleague and the placement helps students get a real idea of what being a scientist is all about.