Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Career Options

How many of us know what we want to do once we leave university? Half of my year has just finished sending off their applications for medicine, a quarter of them are preparing for the 2015 entry into medicine and the handful of us left, have varying interests. 

And then there’s me, I have no idea what I want to do. 


     Last year I did a two week hospital placement at The Medway Hospital; which was absolutely amazing! I met some amazing Consultants, Biomedical Scientists and Medical Lab Assistants and got to see the inner workings of a hospital lab. I learnt a great deal and one of the main things I took from this experience was that I did not want to become a Biomedical Scientist!!  Personally, I found the job to be quite mundane. It was only exciting and fun because of the individuals that work there. 


Currently, the government wants to close down all hospital laboratory’s and create two main laboratories that will be located at opposite ends of the UK. They hope to keep ‘satellite labs’ in hospitals that will only require one person to man. The individuals I worked with explained that all of them did not know if they were going to continue working because none of their jobs were safe. I am not entirely sure how long it is going to take the government to achieve this; however, they have already started working towards this. This isn't the reason why I don’t want to be a Biomedical Scientists, it’s something I learnt while I was working and wanted to share with you all. 

   My search continued I was then drawn to becoming an MP for science! I loved the sound of this! Consulting the government on science related topics, being able to have a say when important decisions were to be made, that sounded so amazing! I started to look into what I needed to do and found out I needed to get in touch with my party of interest in my local area, stay up to date with current affairs, etc… As I live out during the academic year, this started to become very difficult and by the end of the academic year, I had forgotten about it completely! 


  During the summer I was supposed to ‘confirm’ my chosen career path and look at possible routes and vacancies. I was not able to do this properly but I have come up with three plans. Plan A is to get a job (what exactly, I’m still unsure), Plan B is to do a Masters (possible topic areas are Biotechnology or anything technology related) and Plan C is to do a PhD (in neuroscience). 


  Those of you who are unsure about what career path to take, try prospects, they list all job types and generate suitable jobs for your ‘personality type’. Also read up about where science degrees can take you-that’s what I did and found to be quite useful.  Go to career fairs and talk to people about what they do and why they do it. Ask questions and don’t give up. 



Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Break Down of Years 1, 2 & 3 in Biomedical Science

Hi everyone, hope you're all well. I thought I would give you a breakdown of what the three years of Biomedical Science consist of. I will give you an idea of my time in each year and a way for me to share some tips/advice. The first paragraph is a basic introduction to University and after that each paragraph is about each year. 

During your induction week most of the lecturers try to drum in to you the fact that, anyone one and everyone can work towards getting a first class honours degree. The key is hard work! If you put in the time and effort you can get 70+ in your assignments and exams. It's not about spending three hours in front of a book and the saying, I studied three hours! You need to make sure you understand your lectures! And if you don't, find someone or something (books, online resources, tutorials, etc...) to help you! Those of you who like doing things last minute, we'll yes, it might be possible to do assignments a few days before they are due, but now that you know it's possible, why don't you try to see if it's possible for you to start your assignments the day it's handed to you! Try testing that out! It's a lot harder than being a lastminute.com/student.

Year 1: As I hope you’re aware, the first year of Biomedical Science does not count, that does not mean you don't have to try to make an effort! It merely means your lecturers are giving you an opportunity to get used to university life and self-study! It is possible to do well in this year, alongside partying and going out as long as you balance things! So only allow yourself to go out when you don't have any coursework due and you are up-to-date on all your lectures (you understand all you lectures and can give a brief summary of them if need be). But do enjoy yourself in your first year! It’s the perfect time to make new friends and experience new things.
 The first term is aimed at getting everyone on the same level. Those of you from the biology, chemistry backgrounds will find it slightly easier as most of the terms and the content will be familiar, of course you will still need to read up as you will be introduced to in-depth information.

The second year, it's not easy. Not trying to scare all you second years but this year you have to knuckle down. Last minute work is not going to help you this year! You need to up your game. This Involves making sure you know what's happening in your lectures, you need to be studying! Especially when you have pathobiology in the second term! Trust me that subject requires a lot of learning and reading and memorising and there is no living way you can do this overnight! I am not challenging any of you by saying this! I'm trying to give you a head start so you’re able to cope! The second year is a lot more intense then the first and those of you aiming for a first will find you’re not going out as much as you did in the first year, but that's fine. You can always go out after your exams! Those of you doing research and professional skills, stay calm! It's not as hard as you think! Read each lecture very very carefully! Pay attention to every slide and when you’re in the computer labs, don't hesitate to ask for help! It is possible to get 100% in this! I don't know anyone who did but all my friends and I got high 90s in this! You just need to pay attention! Those of you, who don't like statistics might find it a bit dry, just be persistent! 

As for third year! We'll I don't know about the rest of you but wow we have our work cut out for us. In the third year, we have a final year project that is 30 credits. Final year projects can be laboratory based or literature based. Laboratory based projects involve you doing your own experiments. So, you need to make sure you have lab time booked, you have all the equipment you need and you have to sort this all out yourself. Literature based projects are based on other scientists lab work, so you have to critically analyse other peoples work. This is an on-going debate about which one is harder and honestly, who cares which one is harder! What matters is, you picking the one that suits you. We picked our projects in June. We had three options and then before we started university we were told which option we got. I am doing a literature based project which was my second choice. I honestly thought I would be getting my first choice which was a lab based project, so did not prepare for this at all. Then when I found out about my project allocation I was in denial, so still did no research (which is quite essential as it's a literature project). My subject area is neuroscience and neuropharmacology; those of you who have read my blog know that I had originally applied to university to study neuroscience. Will this help me now, I'm not sure, but I will update you all on what my topic and title is, as soon as I know. I am quite lucky, in that, my supervisor has said I can write about whatever I like.

I hope you all found this useful. 


I came across this picture and thought it was funny, so decided to share it with you all J