When I first found out I had a placement at AstraZeneca (AZ), I thought I had a pretty good idea of what my days would be – hours and hours working in the lab, writing up experiments and poring over graphs. Maybe, I thought, I can improve my communication skills by presenting data to my team. But even with the unexpected shakeup of lockdown and coronavirus, I didn’t realise just how oversimplified my idea of a lab-based placement was.
I am a fan of lab work, but anyone who knows me well can tell you that one of my favourite pastimes is admin. I have no shame in admitting that I’m the person who finds joy in organising an inbox, or drawing up spreadsheets to track a team’s progress through a big task. It’s a strange hobby, but it’s satisfying, and so when I saw adverts to recruit a new AZ early talent committee, I could hardly not apply for the role of secretary. I had no professional secretarial experience, but it sounded so me!
Working with poo turned out to be exactly the summer experience I wanted!
I worked at the national Cryptosporidium Reference Unit (CRU) at Public Health Wales in Swansea with Professor Rachel Chalmers and her team. I received a Scholarship from the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) for this placement, writing the application together with Rachel.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes diarrhoea, is found globally
and is typically passed from animals, other people, food and fresh water
sources. It is currently a human health issue due to the significant effect it
has in developing countries and the lack of specific treatments to fight the
parasite. Quite often how well you recover from the illness depends on how
healthy you were to begin with!
Going abroad may be a week’s holiday, or to some it’s going global or for longer, but have you ever thought about studying abroad as part of your Newcastle University degree? You could study abroad for a few weeks or up to an entire year, and it could change your perspective forever.
‘I can honestly say it was the best time of my life’– Eleanor (semester at Monash University, Melbourne)
John Cornilius was appointed as the School of Biomedical Sciences first ever Student Enterprise Ambassador earlier this year. Through a series of blog posts, his youtube channel and his LinkedIn profile, John aims to share reflections on his own enterprise journey. Follow along by clicking the #EntrepreneurshipDiary tag or the link in the sidebar.
Networking? or Nerve-wracking? Today’s video is a bit different, I need your help. How do you fully take advantage of networking opportunities to get the best out of them? I usually use the “Host mentality” method and ask a lot of “Whys”, “Hows” and “Wheres” rather than “Whats”.
Want to make yourself more employable? Well, we are here to help!
As employability ambassadors, we are keen to assist School of Biomedical Sciences students like you in their career development and to help prepare you for life after university. Whether you want advice on placements, work experience, mentoring or just need some guidance on how to structure your CV, please let us know.
Keep an eye on Blackboard community and your emails for our upcoming events!