From first learning about genetics in GCSE science lessons, I knew that it was a subject that I wanted to pursue. Fast forward several years and I had gained a degree and PhD in genetics and had a productive period of post-doc research under my belt. However, it was then decision time. Did I want to stay in academia, or did I want to branch out into something new?
Ultimately, I had known for some time that I didn’t want to continue too far down a narrow research path or become an academic group leader. From what I had seen, the prospect of continually applying for research funding didn’t seem particularly appealing. However, I was keen to keep using not just my broad scientific knowledge, but also my training in genetics.
During my research career, I had gradually become more involved in writing content and designing figures for papers, grants and presentations. In fact, pulling out the salient data and getting their story across to other people was one of my favourite aspects of my job. I also particularly enjoyed working on large and complex projects with collaborators from across the world. I wondered if it would be possible to incorporate these ‘best bits’ into a new career?
I had heard about MedComms from a friend and so, putting my research skills to good use, I set about learning what a career in the industry might look like. I discovered that it ticked the boxes on my wish list for a new role, incorporating science with writing and creativity across fast-paced, exciting projects involving international experts.
In early 2021, I joined Seques as a trainee medical writer. Seques is an AMICULUM agency that specialises in genetic disorders, and cell and gene therapies. Therefore, it seemed like the perfect fit for my experience and ticked that outstanding box on my wish list: genetics.
Now, in early 2022, I can definitely say that I made the right choice. I have been involved in client work from the outset and have thoroughly enjoyed learning what it’s really like to work in MedComms. Over the course of the past year, I have worked on a wide range of deliverables,including abstracts, congress coverages, infographics, newsletters, slide decks, standalone meetings and surveys. I have been given increasing levels of responsibility and have been made to feel like a valued member of the Seques team. In addition, I now feel that my work has far more direct relevance to patients than in vitro and in silico research, making it all the more rewarding.
For anyone looking for a varied role, where you can utilise your scientific knowledge outside of the lab, whilst still satisfying your intellectual curiosity, I would highly recommend a career in MedComms.
This personal profile first appeared in the FirstMedCommsJob careers guide, From academic to medical writer: a guide to getting started in medical communications, published March 2022.
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