Paving your chemistry career: How to make the most of an internship opportunity

2022, Blog | 0 comments

By: Marloes Harmsen

The current climate emergency has highlighted the importance of nurturing a new generation of scientists to ideate and create alternative solutions that can pave the way to a sustainable future.  

The idea of a career in chemistry can seem daunting for many, as the sector is often perceived as being industrial, clinical, and too lab oriented. However, many exciting innovations and developments within the chemistry sector can have a significant and positive impact on society. More importantly, a successful career in chemistry doesn’t necessarily just involve scientific knowledge and expertise, but also a wide range of applied skills and creativity. 

At Avantium, we are committed to inspiring the next generation of scientists to bring forward solutions that will help solve the climate crisis. We have hosted multiple programmes and lab tours for children and high school students, showcasing our technologies and how they contribute to a sustainable future. We also have a well-established partnership with the University of Amsterdam to accelerate the development of new products and processes using electrochemistry and connecting the company to important pioneering research. Several PhD students are working on their theses at Avantium, whilst contributing to the development of our technologies. 

Anna, who is doing a joint degree in Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam and VU University, completed an eight-month internship with the Volta team at Avantium. She says her experience of working at the company has enabled her to apply her scientific knowledge to real-world problems:  

“I knew I wanted to contribute to realizing a circular economy. Volta is a very friendly group with people from different fields, and everyone has the goal of making CO2 reduction a commercial reality. That’s why I was very excited when the opportunity arose to do my master’s thesis at Volta. The fact that you can learn so much about a new technology, while having the chance to contribute to its development, felt like a unique opportunity.”  

Anna also highlighted the importance of translating research and concepts into scalable and practical solutions: “I also noticed during my time here is that the focus is less about publishing [research] and more about what is practical, scalable and financially feasible. Learning to think in this way is useful if you want to pursue a career in industry.”  

We offer our interns and employees a unique chance to gain knowledge and experience around many fields, ranging from scientific research to business, management, and marketing. We believe in a flexible style of working. By providing freedom for our employees to take on initiatives independently and experiment, it can lead to ground-breaking innovations that make a significant impact.  

Martin, a university student studying a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, with ambitions to do a master’s and PhD in this field, highlighted the “hands-on” aspects of our programme: 

“Working with the VOLTA team has been a lot of fun, it is definitely not your standard ‘grab a pipette and start making a million dilutions’ type of internship. Instead I have been working with a lot of different tools that I would associate more with a car workshop than with a laboratory. If you are looking for an internship that combines a lot of physical work with solid mentorship on how to do research, this is the opportunity for you.”      

Are you keen to work on break-through technologies and be an integral part of the journey to a fossil-free future? Speak to us now at: 


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