The Science Graduate to #Love Island Pathway !


In the UK, summer begins when Love Island starts ( for me x) . Love Island is a dating show but as a careers blogger I've noticed an interesting trend on the wide range of careers represented on the show.




For those unfamiliar with what I am talking about, Love Island is a dating show with adults 18+ looking for love and a cash prize of £50,000. The benefits from the show stretch past the money, the winners go on to sign multi million pound deals with many brands and contestants can dramatically change their lives after the show. A notable example is Molly-Mae who is now the UK’s creative director of fast fashion brand pretty little thing alongside her other ventures.


Many contestants go on to become media personalities and gain a massive following across various media platforms. Over the years, it’s the increased representation of science careers that has caught my eye: The first scientific career represented by Dr Alex an A&E doctor and2018 cast member . Ever since, there has been at least one contestant with a science background each year.








 

2019 - Yewande an oncology vaccine specialist and Anna a Pharmacist

2021 - Dr Bret - PhD student at the time who focused on sports therapy and cardiovascular disease and Priya a medical student.

2022- Dami a Senior Microbiologist, Ikenna who works in pharmaceutical sales and Paige a Paramedic.



 


The range of careers offered and personalities show science graduates as more than just boring people with no lives. Their presence on love island and trajectory after the show can highlight the way young people now view careers and working. A life-long career is something slowly of the past with people wanting to explore different parts of themselves and utilise the power of the internet to live fuller lives. The islanders mentioned here have already started building a social following as bloggers or entertainers. Some have gone on to continue to grow in the entertainment field while others have continued to utilise their scientific knowledge showing the flexibility available to science graduates. This desire for flexibility is also a theme seen across TCIM career profiles.



 

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. - Ayodele Osobu ( Biomedical Scientist)

 


This year a fan favourite and my personal favourite Dami ( Senior Microbiologist) has been a real entertaining force for the villa. But let's break down his route and his fellow islanders.



Biomedical science is one of the most common undergraduate courses by life science students that covers a wide range of lab, written, analytical and personal skills. A key route to be successful down this route is making sure your course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) in the UK as it gets you closer to filling out your portfolio and ready for the working world. The biomedical science route can be very fulfilling as a key part of the healthcare profession. It is high in demand in both the public and private sector. As with all roles there are pros and cons which have been highlighted in TCIM profiles below.



  1. Biomedical Scientist to Biomedical Science ( Microbiology)

  2. Operational Lead ( Biomedical Scientist)


Dami could return to his role post love island as a locum scientist while also freelancing as whatever form of media professional, but from his Instagram fashion blogger seems to be the likely path.




Ikenna (pharmaceutical sales professional) and Dami have similar pathways and as a biomedical science grad himself could have followed the path of Dami, but interestingly chose the world of Pharmaceutical sales. Pharma seems to have a role for everyone in different paths such as: scientific discovery, sales, data science, marketing and more.


As a recent grad, Ikenna could have gone down a graduate training programme to get into this path as many companies do advertise exactly that. A good way to set yourself up for understanding the word of Pharma is to do a degree with a year in industry which has many benefits as described in TCIM profile:Biological Science with Year in industry at GSK



Some of the other routes also described on TCIM can be found below:

  1. Medical Science Liaison

  2. Clinical Data Management

  3. Life science consultant and marketing strategist:

  4. Pharmacovigilance Specialist


I manage pharmacovigilance (drug safety) cases through intake, documentation, case processing and submission. I determine the seriousness, expectedness and causality of each case and perform follow-up if required. - Chude Obuaya( Pharmacovigilance Specialist)

Yewande ( oncology vaccine specialist) started university at 16 and with pandemic pushing vaccines to the forefront of public attention, an explanation of the impact of her role isn’t really needed. Her early route into science gives her the added advantage of being in the working field for longer. Her route to specialist without a PhD also shows the fluidity of science roles. For a similar role working in therapeutics and some wet lab work, TCIM profiles also cover this.


  1. Graduate Research Associate

  2. Visiting scientist to Graduate Medicine



Anna (pharmacist) went on to work during the pandemic when there was a call for people to help. Pharmacists like doctors and biomedical scientists are a skill- set based role with the skills always in demand making it easy to transition back into the working world. Anna directly showed the flexibility of science careers as she continues down the path of influencer/ pharmacist.




The Doctors : Alex, Priya and Bret.


Let's start with Bret whose PhD focused on exercise and health has then gone on to notably advocate for climate issues within the fast fashion industry alongside modelling.


Pursuing medicine might be the most flexible of all. Dr Alex saw an easy transition into the working world but as an A&E doctor and his season happening just before the pandemic allowed him to become a force in science communication and health advocacy. This pathway isn’t limited to medical professionals as many TCIM profiles have shown. Science communication is a rapidly growing field in the science world and many life science graduates sought out to explain complex scientific information. The rise of social media and ease of access to information and misinformation shows the need for scientist to have large platforms.


  1. Pharmacovigilance to Medicine

  2. Public Engagement Lead

  3. Freelance Science Communicator


My experiences and career to date only motivate me further to develop opportunities for a broader range of people to have a say in how HE and research enriches our world. It’s easy to forget sometimes how much we still don’t know because we are so saturated with information, the next big challenge is working out how we best use what we know to create a more equitable, sustainable way of living. - Marie Nugent ( Public Engagement Manager)


Whether you watch love island or not, the exposure scientific graduates get from the show can spill over into science circles. The representation can change the perception of scientists, this puts people with the knowledge in positions of relatability and trust bringing science into mainstream and everyday conversation which I support whole heartedly. There are still 4 weeks left of this season and more room for some science representation.



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I am always looking for new people to interview: If you are a life science graduate with journey to share don't hesitate to email : thecatalystinme@gmail.com