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Career Profile: Neuroscience

1. Name: Tomi Akingbade

2. Course/ job: MSci Neuroscience

3. A levels: Biology, Maths, Psychology (and Chemistry AS)

4. Journey in 3 words: Challenging, exciting, character-building

5. Briefly describe your current course:

As well as neuroscience, I learnt a lot of content related to pharmacology and psychology. I enjoyed the bredth of information because it gave me the opportunity to see what neuroscience-related topics I was interested in.

6. What motivated you to pursue a career in science?

I’ve always loved to ask the question ‘why’ and I love problem-solving.

7. How would you describe your work-life balance?

While I was in uni, there was very little balance between work and life. After a while I learnt that my work suffers when there isn’t a balance between the two so I’ve started to prioritise maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

8. What advice would you give someone wanting to study the same degree

Enjoy it, read around the subject and don’t stress anything too much. Somehow you always know more than you think you do. The best piece of advice I can give is to try and know your subject and know it well, rather than cramming information in for exams actually try and commit things to memory.

9. Why didn’t you do a PhD straight away?

I needed a mental break from being in any sort of programme and wanted to gauge the science industry a bit better first-hand as a research assistant.

10. What is important when picking a masters?

Know what assessments work for you so that you have a chance to show off i.e. I’m better at coursework/essays than traditional examinations so I chose a masters programme that was 100% coursework/presentation.

11. What were your perceptions of being a scientist before you started your course?

Honestly, I didn’t know what a scientist did before starting my course but my perception was largely that scientists didn't look like me so I wasn’t really sure how I’d fit into the industry.

12. What career paths did you feel were available to you before you started your course and how has that changed?

I was massively unaware of what career paths were available to me before starting my course but during my course I attended lots of career talks and was lucky enough to meet a lot of different people (both in-person and on social media) who have shown me the different career opportunities available to them by telling me about their own journey.

13. You run BWIS: tell us a little about it, your motivations and possible future plans for the network.

BWiS is a platform that brings together a community of women of African and Caribbean heritage in various stages of their scientific careers. It is no secret that black women face pressures both within and outside the workplace. The BWiS Network believes that everyone should be encouraged to not only pursue careers of their choice but excel in their industry. In the future, BWiS Network hopes to be a unified voice, impacting legislation and influencing change so that black women feel comfortable and supported in their careers. As an inclusive network, BWiS is also keen to consult companies and organisations that wish to better understand the realities of what it is to be an African and/or Caribbean woman in the scientific industry. We also hope to host some networking events in the near future - become a member and follow us on social media to be kept up to date.

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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”

The following links will further help you with your career search:


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