Every day is a completely different challenge on placement

Joshua Milner
Joshua Milner
Placement organisation: GSK
BSc Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry
Joshua spent his placement year working at GSK as an Associate Clinical Development Scientist (Study Manager). During his year, he helped to run four clinical trials within the respiratory specialty, including areas from legal and regulatory, to client management and recruitment strategies.
Joshua Milner

What made you decide to study biomedical science at Sheffield?

Deciding on biomedical science at Sheffield was a long process for me, I knew I wanted to study something around biology but didn’t know the precise field I wanted to go into. The course at Sheffield is very open ended and has a lot of possibilities. I am now focusing on something I never thought I would want to study! The reason I decided on Sheffield is because I simply loved it when I came to the open day. I fell in love with the city and the campus and I still adore the city today.

What are you enjoying the most about the course?

I think my favourite part of the course so far has been the modules on sensory neuroscience and neuropharmacology. I left all of those lectures stunned with how interesting the content was. A lot of what has been taught has been absolutely cutting-edge and has been fascinating to learn about.

What skills have you developed during your course?

I think the skill I have developed more than any other has been tenacity. The course can be incredibly challenging and demanding, especially when you have other commitments.

Where are you on placement and what is your role?

I am working as an Associate Clinical Development Scientist (Study Manager) at GSK.

What sort of things are you doing on your placement?

As a study manager, I worked within clinical operations to help run four clinical trials within the respiratory specialty. This includes all kinds of things from legal and regulatory, to client management and recruitment strategies.

What skills have you learnt from your placement?

Research and networking skills. Every day is a completely different challenge where I need to work out what to do and this is done by reaching out to others for help or by researching on my own.

What have you enjoyed most about the placement year?

A 9 to 5. I love university and I miss the course but it can get very busy and very stressful. Being able to log off when my work is done and having no assignments hanging over me has been amazing.

How do you think the placement year will help your career?

I think the placement year is great for two reasons. Firstly, it has let me try all kinds of new things that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise, and so now I am more confident in what I want to do moving forward. If you’re not sure what you want to do after university I would highly recommend a placement year. The second way it helps is because it’s a massive head start, it gives you real-life interview preparation and a massive help to your CV and future job or research applications.

What would you say to a prospective student considering studying biomedical science at Sheffield?

I think this advice goes for anyone considering university but you need to decide on your priorities, what do you want in a course? In a city? What about sports or societies? Everyone does university differently and you need to choose for yourself what you want and then see if that university fits with that. 

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