1. Name: Roisin
2. Job: Laboratory Technician
3. A levels: Biology, English Literature and History
4.Undergraduate degree: Biology
5. Journey in 3 words: Unexpected, varied, challenging
6. Briefly describe your role: I currently have a temporary part time job working in a neuroscience lab. The researchers are looking at multiple sclerosis and the role of autoantibodies to nerofilament light chain in the development of the disease. Initially, I was doing a lot of literature based research, but now I’m doing hands on work, running immunoassays in the lab (ELISA). It’s an interesting technique and a good skill to learn, but it is rather time consuming and there’s a lot of waiting around!
7. What motivated you to pursue a career in science: My teachers, 100%. I wasn’t particularly interested in science until my GCSE’s, when I got moved up to the “top set” for science, and had some really enthusiastic teachers. Since I did so well in my science GCSEs, I decided to carry on Biology and Chemistry into A Levels. I dropped Chemistry after my AS Levels but Biology continued to fascinate me, plus my teachers were great and I began thinking about pursuing the subject further. However, I convinced myself that a History degree would be the best course of action for me, and was all set to study it, but the nagging thought that I should be doing Biology instead persisted. So, I ended up getting my course changed on A Level results day! It just goes to show that it’s NEVER too late.
8. Work- Life Balance: At the moment it’s okay for me as my job is part time and I can set my own hours. I’m definitely not forced to think about science 24/7 but I do consider our blog(seekingscience) to be a kind of side-job so there is also the need to plan time to dedicate to writing, editing and promoting each week.
9. What advice would you give your 18 year old self on the university experience and finding a job after university? : It’s never too early to start looking. Make use of your university careers advice service, and reach out to academics about work experience placements early on. University is a platform that you need to use to launch yourself, don’t expect it to all be done for you.
10. What do you feel is important when picking a university?: Obviously the course is number one, it needs to have modules that interest you and an assessment system that you think can work for you. I would say that people place too much importance on reputation rather than the atmosphere of a university, at the end of the day, a degree is a great achievement no matter what institution it’s from, and it’s you that will have to spend three years there so it has to be somewhere you’ll be comfortable.