Hello, my name is Jess and I work within Biopharm process research at GlaxoSmithKline, specifically within Cell line development. In conjunction with this, I'm working with Manchester Metropolitan University towards obtaining an applied bioscience degree.
A typical day in my life will be working in the lab for a few hours, followed by meetings and writing up experiments. However, sometimes I also work towards creating presentations and data visualisations and presenting this to the team and wider department.
The majority of my work at GSK is revolved around working as a team, for example on a project, a few people will be allocated to this and then feedback on what we're doing to the wider department. However, for non-project work, you can work on your own design experiments and plan them how you please. However, it's always a good idea to get feedback.
I've worked in my current role for one year now and prior to this I worked in cell and gene therapy, also at GSK.
I was fortunate enough to take part in the Amgen experience where I learned a lot about PCR and gel electrophoresis. I also worked in a pharmacy and in a café while obtaining my GCSEs, where I got 9 GCSEs from grades 8 to 5. Then I went on to complete A levels where I obtained 3, an A* in English Language, a B in Geography and a D in Biology, which is quite ironic considering the job that I'm in now.
I knew I wanted a role involving science from when I was young. However, when I got to about twelve years old, I decided I wanted to join the army and spent a couple of years dedicating myself to that. Then in Year 9 I decided I wanted to be a dermatologist. And then a year after that I decided that GSK apprenticeships was the one thing that I wanted and I devoted my time to working on building up my experience towards that, which is lucky that I got it because I didn't have a backup.
In my career I'm most proud of my impact on others and my personal development. For example, I'm mentoring a younger apprentice at the moment to make her transition into GSK as smooth as possible. A majority of my awards that I've received are also for helping others, which I think is a really good attribute to have. In developing technical skills, at the start of working at GSK, I didn't even know how to do a subculture and now I'm well on my way to leading my own project.
For people seeking careers in science, my advice would be that the most successful people have failed the most times, and that you learn from your mistakes. If you don't take the plunge or take opportunities, you'll spend your life wondering how it could have gone, and that will end up frustrating you.