Career Profile- Biomedical Scientist
Biomedical Scientist, Medical Microbiology
Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy & Ethics
Journey in 3 words
Extensive, enjoyable and stimulating
Briefly describe your current role
I currently work within a research unit, providing services for resistance testing of HIV, analysis of HIV transmission events for public health related investigations, HIV subtyping via sequencing, Hepatitis C virus whole genome sequencing and Herpes Simplex virus testing via cell culture-based phenotyping and genotyping. I work within a World Health Organisation globally specialised HIV resistance laboratory. I have been fortunate to work on various assays within my current role and I’m mainly involved in the genotyping of HIV and HSV. Genotyping is crucial in the treatment regimens for patients who are on antiretroviral therapy and are experiencing drug resistance, timely and accurate testing ensures that those individuals are put on the correct drug, thus, relieving patients of their symptoms as well as suppression of further complications.
What motivated you to pursue a career in science
I always knew that the standard ‘9-5’ in an office wasn’t for me and I have always shown an interest in science, my original plan was to become a surgeon, thus, this would require medical school and further training. The idea of having a practical career involving interactions with different people whilst treating them was my passion. However, I did not achieve the required grades for medical school and this lead me onto a degree in Biomedical Science with aspirations to study graduate entry medicine. I ended up enjoying my degree and this lead me onto a scientific career.
Work- Life Balance
Work life balance is essential for me, outside of the lab, I run an accessories boutique and I assist at a tutoring academy teaching GCSE Chemistry and Biology. I utilise my evening by completing my home duties (cooking and cleaning) then I would spend a bit of time replying to customer emails and checking my product inventory. Other days I may prepare material for my student as well as attending church and socialising with friends and family. My time management is crucial, but I enjoy being busy!
What advice would you give someone wanting to follow the same path?
Firstly, I would highly suggest completing a course with a year in industry/ taking a gap year out from your studies to complete an industrial placement. The experience and skills gained during this year will benefit you in the long-term, as a graduate. Employers are keen to hire an individual who has left school with transferable skills. The skills gained through your industrial year will give you a ‘head-start’ in the recruitment process and you will preferred over the graduate who has no experience and a degree. Keep perservering through-out your degree and challenge yourself to go above and beyond to become successful. Any science-based degree is not easy but with the right mindset you will succeed.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
5 years from now I see myself working as a working as a senior biomedical scientist, training to become a clinical scientist working in Public Health, alongside healthcare professionals in order to treat disease and assist with public health investigations. I also see myself running a successful fashion boutique, whilst inspiring the next generation of future scientists/healthcare professionals.
Do you feel like scientist salaries reflect the amount of effort put in ?
Hmmm, this is debatable lol. I do feel as though salaries, especially within the NHS should be more, we put in many hours and process many samples and we do not see much financial reward. On the contrary, locum scientists, private pharmaceutical companies and private hospitals have very attractive salaries and benefits including luxury company cars. But this comes with its cons. Personally, I would like to try working as a locum and a field application scientist due to the benefits 😉.
When considering your career path, how much has your potential salary affected your decision?
When considering my career path, I did think of the salary, of course! But then again I knew that great things take time and there are so many different career paths to take with a degree in Biomedical Science which will lead to £££ , it’s not good to be in a haste, so I’m putting in all the work now to enjoy later!
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Other TCIM biomedical scientist career profiles
I hope this post inspires you to follow your passions and acknowledge that at every stage of your career will involve perseverance, consistency and discipline to help you achieve your desired goal. Never forget that “ no accomplishment is too small and no goal is too high”
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