'My degree gave me my core scientific understanding and practical lab skills, which allowed my entry to the medical device industry'
I am currently working as the quality assurance manager at Optasia Medical, a software medical device company. After graduating, I spent some time working as a research lab technician for an IVD (In-Vitro Diagnostic) Medical Device company, where I improved the process for purifying human proteins. The process became standard practice and I became involved with documentation and monitoring. From this point, moving into quality management was a natural progression.
Outline the course you studied at the University of Birmingham and how it benefited you?
I studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham, which covered a wide range of scientific study from cell signalling to pure chemistry. My degree gave me my core scientific understanding and practical lab skills, which allowed my entry to the medical device industry. In addition, I strongly believe the analytical and planning skills I developed during the course continue to assist me.
How did you find your first year in Birmingham?
I found the first year in Birmingham an exciting opportunity to explore a new city. It was a bit daunting at first, with all the changes from gaining independence to lecture based learning, but I quickly I embraced the challenge and opportunities available both at the University and the city itself.
How did going to University as a whole benefit you?
I believe going to University has benefited me by providing me with a strong platform for my career. The skills I acquired through my time at University continue to be valuable to my employers, including a logical approach and team working skills. I believe a combination of going to University and my ambition has strengthened my career to date.
How did you find campus life?
The Edgbaston Campus is great because everything you needed is in a central location with a strong sense of community. There are many great societies and events available on campus, including farmer’s markets and sports classes. The campus has its own train station, so it was very easy to explore the sights around Birmingham city whilst having the benefits of a centralised campus location.
How did you find living in Birmingham?
I enjoyed life in Birmingham as there was always something interesting to see or do from the many restaurants to the Frankfurt Christmas Market. Part of me expected a big city would be intimidating, but with the campus’ community feel, I was pleased to feel settled and comfortable with life in Birmingham almost immediately.
Did you join any student societies during your studies?
Within the Biosciences Department, I took part both as the Biosciences Society secretary and as a final year staff-student representative, which gave me the opportunity to interact with my peers and have some influence on the direction taken by the department. During my final year, I was Science Editor for the Redbrick newspaper, which was a great way to meet people from other courses and to publish news items to a varied target audience.
Any tips to pass on to students thinking of coming here?
My main message would be to encourage people to get involved. The University has a lot to offer in addition to education and some of my best lessons came from interacting with people on different courses. You can learn a lot from other people perspectives!
What are your aspirations for the future?
I hope to continue progressing with my career in quality and aim to progress to be a senior quality director, or even CEO one day! Aiming high has got me where I am today and I see no reason to change!