Getting ready for my Great Ormond Street experience

Sam Horsfield, Yr2 Biochemistry

I love science; I have to admit. Always have, and probably always will. So much so in fact that I plan on spending the rest of my life within the field of genetics. But that’s just it, it’s what I plan to do. How do I actually get a job where I can spend all day (and possibly all night) tinkering with cellular biochemistry to my heart’s content?

When it comes to getting any job, experience is key. The more you’ve been exposed to a work environment, the more employers will look at you and say “This guy [or gal] is committed to the role” without you even being employed! If experience says anything, it says you’re committed to not only developing the interests of the company, but more importantly, to developing your own.GOSH Sam

So that’s exactly what I’ve decided to do; get experience. This summer, I’ll be working in the Chemical Pathology lab at Great Ormond Street Hospital. To the eagle-eyed readers among you, you’ll probably have noticed that chemical pathology doesn’t sound too much like genetics- and you’re spot on. I’ll be spending time working with the New Born Screening team, where I’ll be using a whole host of biochemical techniques to help diagnose new born babies with potentially debilitating diseases. The idea of new born screening is not to supply doctors with a continuous stream of bad news to give to patients’ families; on the contrary, it’s a tool for doctors to catch disease early, allowing treatment that will hopefully give the child a normal life.

Once again I come back to the point of why I’m doing a placement in new born screening, rather than in genetics. Well, the way I see it, although the testing I’ll be doing will be intrinsically grounded in the principles of genetics, the fact is I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. Yes, I love studying genetics now, but as I said before, gaining experience is all about developing your own interests, which in my case may not always be genetics. I want to make sure I expose myself to as much variety as possible, so that when it comes to deciding where I want to go with my life, I have as much opportunity to deviate from my original plan as I have to stick to it.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, then good news; you’ll be hearing a lot more from me when my placement comes around in late June. But until then, all I can say is thanks for reading!

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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