I began my career in science when I was 18. Pfizer’s European research headquarters were near my hometown in the UK, and they ran a programme for local school leavers in which you could work in the labs at Pfizer while also going to university and studying for a part-time degree (almost like a science apprenticeship). After Pfizer downsized their presence at the site, I worked for various smaller pharmaceutical companies in the UK, before making the decision to move to New Zealand and work at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, based at the University of Auckland. After working for some time in academia, I began to feel that my time in the lab was coming to an end and so I started looking for something different, which would also draw on my experience as a scientist. Luckily, I saw an advert for a role as a trainee medical writer at AMICULUM New Zealand, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Beatrice Vetter-Ceriotti, AMICULUM USA
During both my undergraduate degree in biochemistry and microbiology, and my PhD in synthetic biology, I was always attracted to extracurricular activities – so much so that I became involved with the European Federation of Biotechnology Section for Bioengineering and Bioprocessing as their communications officer. Realising that my joy tended to come from presenting my research at congresses and networking with other researchers versus spending long monotonous days in the lab, I knew that I wanted to look beyond academia for my next career step.
Kristie Marchant, Cence, an AMICULUM agency
I graduated from Surrey University in 2013 with a BA in English literature with creative writing. I selected a degree that aligned with what I felt were my strongest skills and interests at the time: reading and writing. From the career prospects open to me, such as teaching, publishing and marketing, I opted for the latter. I joined a small, local agency that offered me a job while I was in my final year, subject to me achieving a 2:1 or higher. Mission accomplished. This agency had a portfolio of alternative finance and accountancy firms as clients. It was not an area which interested me but it kickstarted my awareness of compliance processes and the restrictions imposed on companies operating within a heavily regulated industry.
Gillian Keating, Cence, an AMICULUM agency
I trained in medicine and, after completing my medical registration and discovering it was not a career I wished to pursue, began exploring alternatives. Medical writing seemed a good way of combining my qualifications and interest in writing, and I joined a medical publishing company as a medical writer in a non-agency setting. I initially wrote single-agent drug reviews across a wide range of therapeutic areas. Over time, my role transitioned into training and mentoring new medical writers and upskilling experienced medical writers, as well as establishing standard operating procedures and a training and mentoring programme.
Rachel Dodd, Cence, an AMICULUM agency
My entry into medical writing was typical in some ways. After completing my PhD, I found myself unsure of my next move. While I liked working in the lab, I also knew that some of my favourite parts of my research experience involved writing and communicating science. This was reinforced when I actually enjoyed writing up my thesis – an experience that was unusual among my lab colleagues! However, I hadn’t really been aware of MedComms as an industry until I began exploring ways to combine my love of science and my enjoyment of writing.