Arindam De Tarafder

Photo of a previous student standing against a wallMy name is Arindam De Tarafder and I am from Kolkata, India. After my Bachelor’s I worked in the biopharmaceutical industry for two years before deciding to come to Uppsala.

At Uppsala University, I belonged to the Master Programme in Applied Biotechnology. I chose this Master’s programme because it seemed to be a bridge between industry and academia with sufficient scope of industry interaction. Moreover, entrepreneurship is something that had always interested me, and this was one of the few programmes across Europe that included an “Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship” course.

I wanted to study at Uppsala University because Uppsala is a life science hub with biotech companies of various scales being located in the Uppsala-Stockholm region. Moreover, the university is known for its research in life science with several lab groups conducting high quality research. I was always interested in the protein synthesis machinery and the research in this field at Uppsala caught my attention. I wanted to pursue a research oriented career, but I also wanted to have industry as an option. Hence, Uppsala University fit the bill perfectly.

The best thing about studying at Uppsala University was the structured and flexible curriculum. Here current research is given a lot of importance and is incorporated into the curriculum. Classes (attendance is not always mandatory) are informal with excellent student-teacher interaction. There is no central campus and hence it is not as vibrant as I am used to back home. Student nations are the non-academic hotspots. I am an avid sports lover and play football whenever possible. In Uppsala, there are indoor playing areas (V-dala Nation) where we play during the harsh winter. I enjoy writing and communicating with people, and have therefore been a digital ambassador for the university.

After my graduation from the Master’s programme in 2018 I worked as a research assistant in the same lab where I did my Master’s thesis project for 6 month. Recently, I have become a PhD student here.

My time in Uppsala as a Master’s student made me more aware of the real life scenario regarding career choices. Also after having a closer look at the ongoing research, I was certain that I wanted to pursue doctoral studies now and not venture into the industry using my past experience. My involvement with iGEM and my Master’s thesis made sure the transition to becoming a PhD student was smooth.

I had a great time doing my Master’s degree and things have panned out quite well for me in the end, so I wouldn’t want to change anything. My advice for students who also want to do a PhD is to not shy away from building networks with people. Things may seem difficult, but still give it a shot as nothing is really impossible.

Read more about the Master's programme in Applied Biotechnology