Pharmacovigilance and Medicine I TCIM Careers
Favourite science fact
The human body consists of about 39 trillion bacteria and 30 trillion human cells, so half of our body is made up of bacteria!
Journey in 3 Words
Nothing Is Impossible
What motivated you to pursue a career in science?
I really enjoyed studying chemistry, biology and physics at school. Chemistry was actually one of my favourite subjects and I had a strong passion to help people. I wanted to have a career where I could use scientific knowledge to improve the lives of others and contribute to medical research.
Briefly describe your role
I work as a Pharmacovigilance Business Consultant for a Clinical Research Organisation. I provide oversight and input into safety service proposals which we use to bid for various clinical trial studies sponsored by pharmaceutical and biotech companies. I am responsible for providing subject matter expertise and support for the development of budgets and requests for information from clients. I am also involved in strategy meetings where the feasibility of conducting clinical trials is discussed and I collaborate with business development professionals and other internal key stakeholders to ensure client requests are thoroughly addressed.
You run a Career service/ consultancy for recent graduates - what motivated that and how do you balance this with your 9-5?
After I completed my MSc degree in 2017, I really struggled to find a graduate job despite all of the education I had, and the internship I did in the second year of my degree. Also, even after I got a graduate job, I still struggled when it came to adjusting to the work environment, enjoying my role, and connecting on a personal level with my colleagues. After speaking to a few friends who also had their own work struggles, I realised that I needed to share my story on a wide scale to support young professionals experiencing the same problems, so I started blogging. The career consultancy was formed later when I realised there was a high demand for career coaching. I decided it would be useful to also run coaching sessions and workshops which would provide advice, insight, and motivation to support early-career professionals on their journey.
Balancing my 9-5 with my career consultancy has been challenging but very rewarding. I have days at work which are very busy, and I am involved in back to back meetings which are sometimes scheduled late in the evening. Also, some of the projects I work on have a short turnover time so it can be difficult to balance my business alongside my day job.
However, over the past couple of years, I have gotten better at managing my time. I try to plan in advance if possible and use google calendar to schedule all of my appointments. Weekends are usually dedicated to my business, but I also try to plan days where I can relax, do something different, and also reflect on all the work I have done.
What advice would you give someone wanting to follow the same path?
Don’t give up! There will be many challenges and obstacles along the way and it may seem difficult at the start, but keep going no matter what and believe in yourself. Also, make sure you have a good support system. Try and find a mentor or an expert in your field to guide you and surround yourself with people who motivate you to do better.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully, in 5 years I will be graduating from medical school and will have started my foundation year training as a junior doctor. My medical interests, at the moment lie within Psychiatry, A&E, Obs and Gynae, and Global Health, so I am aiming to specialise in one of these four fields. I would also love to use the knowledge and experiences I’ve gained from my MSc Global Health and Development degree to start a non-profit organisation in Sierra Leone to aid in the educational development of young children.
How do you feel the Science world has evolved throughout your career? ( what are some hard truths you have had to face?)
Scientific research has definitely sped up over the past few years, especially with the advancement of technology, and now the coronavirus pandemic. Studies that would have normally taken months or couple of years to execute are now getting to the public within a matter of weeks. This means that we are now able to understand how to treat diseases better than before and make public health recommendations to save lives.
One of the hard truths is that as scientific research and communication is evolving, scientists also need to be mindful of the fact that the public’s perception and image of science is also changing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made more people curious about the nature of risk involved in clinical trials and the relationship between science and politics.
Outside of science how would you describe your self?
I would say that I am quite a creative person and I also like to meet new people and share ideas. I enjoy writing, public speaking, and helping people and this has led to me creating a career blog, YouTube videos, and workshops.
When considering your career path, how much has your potential salary affected your decision?
At the start, earning a good salary was important to me and did influence the career path I chose. I was also very conscious of the fact I would need to obtain a graduate job that had a decent salary especially living in London. After I graduated, I did manage to secure a well-paid graduate job but I shortly realised that pursuing a job that I was passionate about was far better than pursuing a job solely because it was well-paid
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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”
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