Product Manager, Cambridge Cognition
And - soon-to-be Digital Programme Manager for the Association of Medical Research Charities
Go for things you feel 'underqualified' for - it is only by pushing yourself that you'll learn new things.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am just finishing up a position as a Product Manager at Cambridge Cognition, the leading global provider of cognitive assessment software for clinical trials, academic research and healthcare provision. My current role has spanned from defining and managing the development of neuroscientific assessment software for academic health research, through to carrying out research and data analysis to drive the business strategy for the product. Product managing a scientific, software product or service is the perfect role for anyone that would like to combine scientific knowledge with technology and business.
I will soon be taking up a position as Digital Programme Manager for the Association of Medical Research Charities. This is also based within the use of technology in health research, but will cover a more diverse array of medical research, helping the member charities better understand and embrace the opportunities for digital and technology in their work.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
It has been a very iterative process where at each stage I have experienced new things and I have enjoyed a certain aspect and wanted to explore that further. I enjoyed Psychology A-Level, so I pursued it at university. I then decided I wanted to try and combine Psychology with business experience, and so pursued an internship and graduate role at Cambridge Cognition. The fact that the company sold software didn’t weigh into my decision at all, but once I experienced the technical side of things, I realised that digital health was something I was really interested in, so I’ve now decided to pursue this.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I never would have thought I could get into Oxford, let alone to study a scientific subject. If you’re thinking about applying to a university that feels out of reach, just go for it! I’ve met countless people who were told by their school teachers that they would never get into Oxford, and yet they got in and flourished. One of the most important things is that you are passionate about your subject and that you love the thought of spending 3-4 years of your life focussing wholly on it.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love hearing what new technologies are being developed and how they’re being used to do good, in my case in healthcare and biotechnology! One of the great things about living in the digital age is that you can’t predict what careers will exist in 10 years’ time.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
If you’re not sure whether you want to go into a STEM field, don’t shy away from trying it because of lack of confidence! You’ll be thankful for the variety, and the experience and skills that you will learn will inevitably come in useful at some point later on, even if you don’t end up in STEM.
Also, if you end up being in a male-dominated environment, don’t let that affect you. If anything it might work to your advantage being able to stand out! You have clearly already achieved so much to be there - squeeze as much out of your experiences as you possibly can.
INSPO / FUN FACT
A few months ago I went to an LGBTQ+ in STEM talk as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. Before I went, I didn’t realise how much it meant to me to hear from other LGBTQ+ people working in STEM fields.