Laboratory Technician, University of Essex
You should believe you can do whatever you want to do.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I look after two research laboratories covering 6 different research groups. The work ranges from basic protein research (structure function relationships) to cancer biology to antibiotic resistance. My day to day roles include maintaining specialist equipment, ensuring health and safety is upheld and up to date, teaching students laboratory techniques (from basic pipetting to molecular biology, protein expressions/purifications, protein crystallography, disc diffusion assays and spectroscopy) and carrying out research myself. Its a very varied busy role!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I always had an interest in biology, which started with a fascination with genetics in secondary school. I knew I wanted to work in a university environment but the exact area of research I ended up in was more of a happy accident than by planning!
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I dont think there is one particular achievement that I could say I'd wish I'd known was possible, but I do wish that younger me had had more confidence.
My lack of confidence held me back for a while so I came to work in this field later than I possibly could have, and it took me a little while to find my confidence and realise I was more than capable of being very good at what I do.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
Working in STEM is exciting and fun. I'm always learning new things, meeting new people. I wake up each day knowing that there will always be something different to do - no one day is exactly the same!
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
The best advice I could give is that you should believe you can do whatever you want to do.
Sometimes getting into the area you want to work in can seem tough - but do not give up, keep working at it and you will make it. Because once you have, you will find it so worthwhile being in a field that is so exciting - always progressing and changing and allowing you as a person to progress and improve with it!
INSPO / FUN FACT
Real science can be far stranger than science fiction and much more satisfying.