Work in really the top in the science field

Ona Bach González was admitted to Science and Business Management at the last minute, so she applied for a research project with an "SOS message" - and got lucky. Because of Corona, another international student couldn't come to Utrecht, and so she obtained a position in the exciting field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

“It was very interesting to work in an environment that is really top in the science field, with very competent researchers. We had people from other labs who came there to work together as well as interested investors that came by.”

Ona's project focused on finding a growth factor for cartilage tissue engineering to help repair damaged cartilage in knee joints. Because at first her supervisor was abroad, she had to start up by herself, reading up the literature and learning the basic techniques of the field. However, she came to really appreciate her colleagues’ trust and help – and herself: “I thought I basically knew nothing, but it turned out I knew more than I thought.”

“During my supervisor’s absence, I had to take care of the experiments on my own. That was flattering, but also a challenge. However, I learnt that hard work pays off, that you can get good results if you put in a lot of work and effort. In that sense I enjoyed it more than my previous research projects.”

I had to take care of the experiments on my own. That was flattering, but also a challenge.

Her advice for starting SMB-students: find a topic that you are really interested in and be courageous, people really appreciate your trying. Also, ask for help! “I would have won 2 weeks’ time if I had…”

Also the added value is realizing what you want in life professionally. “I thought that sure I didn’t want to work in the lab. But I still like science. So having the very nice network this project gave me, may also be useful.”