The skills I picked up at Sheffield played a significant role in my employability

Abinaya Ramesh
Abinaya Ramesh
Now: Vector Development Associate, Evox Therapeutics
MSc Human and Molecular Genetics
Thanks to the technical skills she gained on her course, including molecular cloning, Abinaya is now taking the first steps to pursue her dream of becoming a geneticist.
Abinaya Ramesh

What did you enjoy most about your studies?

This course has varied module choices, that cover all the important aspects of genetics. I found all the modules very interesting, and it was easy to choose the modules according to my interests and focus. The module syllabus is designed in such a way that we are encouraged to do independent reading, and any doubts or questions are always encouraged by the professors. The laboratory training module covers all techniques that are relevant for anyone who wants to pursue a career in research. The module resembled a research project, and I got an idea of how projects are planned in a professional setting and was also key to developing confidence in my skills. Along with this, I also got many opportunities to develop career-relevant skills like critiquing and summarizing research articles, project proposals and presentations and literature reviews. I was also able to attend seminars and workshops along with other skill development programs offered by the University. The Students' Union also organize careers fairs and club activities that make student life exciting and fun.

What are you doing now and what made you decide to go down that route?

I have been interested in genetics and molecular biology right from the time I read about Heredity and Evolution in class. I knew that I wanted to pursue my dream of being a geneticist after my bachelor's in biomedical science, and of all the courses I looked at, the one offered by the University of Sheffield stood out. I then reached out to the department and asked a few questions regarding the course structure and timelines (which were affected because of the pandemic), and I received a prompt response answering all my questions. I realized that working in such an environment will be ideal to hone my wet lab skills and other aspects of my career in research. I have now received a job offer from Evox Therapeutics for the role of a vector development associate based on the experience I was able to gain in molecular cloning.

How did your degree help you get your job?

Along with technical skills, I developed soft skills relating to writing, presentation, time management, and teamwork that will assist in all walks of my career. Our projects also involved a lot of deliberation and collaborative work, which helps in building a strong network of peers. The faculty and staff members were very approachable and helpful and teach in a way that encourages independent thinking and autonomy. It is because of their guidance and support that I was able to take away as many skills as I did and secure a job as a vector development associate. My current role involves a lot of cloning, and the technical and project management skills I developed at the University of Sheffield helped a lot in getting the job and working in a research lab.

What kind of skills from your course are you using in your job?

The project I chose involved cloning and construction of plasmids for studying human peroxisomal disorders in yeast models. The imaging and cloning expertise I picked up played a significant role in my employability.

What are you enjoying most about your job?

The aspect of working with plasmids and viruses in a fast-paced industrial setting is very exciting. Similar to the lab environment in the University, my current employment offers a collaborative environment where scientific discussion and sharing of ideas are encouraged.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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