I’m not sure if it’s been made clear from any of my past posts but I commute to work in Stevenage via train, from Leicester. Whenever someone asks me where I live and I say Leicester, they have an incredulous look on their face as I explain that I commute in to work. It takes me a bus journey, two trains and another bus to get from home to work, then the same routine for my return journey!
Then comes the inevitable question “Why?”. Why would I commute around 170 miles, which takes just under 6 hours of my day, when I could just move to Stevenage like the other industrial placement students and sane individuals? Well let’s just say moving to Stevenage was one of my last options due to personal circumstances I do not wish to share with the entire online world. Nevertheless, I don’t think I have missed out on much by not living closer to work. Sure my social life is a bit less colourful than other IP students but I’ve never been much of the partying/drinking type so it’s worked out pretty well for me.
Before starting my placement, I received a phone call from the placement manager who had heard that I would be commuting to Stevenage from Leicester daily and she insisted that it was not feasible and past students who had tried to commute long distances were unsuccessful. I really wanted this placement though so I made some sacrifices (mostly on the social side of things) and am glad to say that so far it has been a success. I have had to adapt and make sure I use my time wisely, so desk work is mostly done on the train or in station waiting rooms and I make sure I keep on top of my work load. I am very organized and good at planning ahead which have both undoubtedly helped everything go smoothly.
I must say tough there was an essence of pure luck involved too. I have an amazing supervisor (yes Rob I mean you!) and someone I like to refer to as my ‘unofficial supervisor’ – Sally. They are without doubt two great scientists and just generally very wonderful people who have continually supported me and made my time at GSK so far simply unforgettable.