My year in industry at the Institute for Cancer Research has introduced me to potential future careers

Niamh Dowling
Niamh Dowling
Placement organisation: The Institute of Cancer Research
BSc Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry
Niamh is spending her year in industry working at the Institute of Cancer Research within the Drug Development Unit, which targets phase 1 (early-stage) clinical trials for cancer treatment. Rotating around three different teams, Niamh is not only gaining experience in the lab but also in the study management and finance and regulatory teams.
Niamh Dowling

"When applying for university, one of the things I was interested in doing was a year in industry, primarily to gain first-hand experience in the field of work I am interested in. I was keen to see what kind of roles suited me and whether they might be something I would enjoy as a career in the future. Furthermore, I thought it might be beneficial when finding a job in the future to have the extra experience in industry.

"My placement at the Institute of Cancer Research, (ICR) is within the Drug Development Unit, which targets phase 1 (early-stage) clinical trials for cancer treatment. This placement has given me a fantastic opportunity to work in 3 different teams within the department, each for 4 months. Throughout my placement at the ICR so far, I have worked on rotation in two teams gaining both laboratory experience and more office based experience within the Study Management team.

"Even as a placement student trust is put in you to deliver.  I have been given lots of different responsibilities at the ICR so far, including preparing blood kits in the lab for the cancer patients when they come in for their treatment, and preparing the care plans and blood forms, also for these visits, in the office rotation within study management. This might seem a simple task, but getting it exactly right making sure everyone is aware what tests and scans the patients need when they come into the hospital, is crucial to a smooth process.

This placement has been very enjoyable and extremely beneficial, as it has highlighted my interests and in the future, prompted me to consider it as a potential route to pursue a career in, whether cancer or patient-focused or within clinical trials.

Niamh Dowling

BSc Biomedical Science with a Year in Industry

"What also helps is a very good working environment both physically and socially within the team, meaning everyone is very friendly and supportive should I need help or advice. I am already looking forward to my final rotation in the finance and regulatory team to see how this ties into what I have been working on so far and to see a different aspect to clinical trials than what you would normally associate.

"This placement has been very enjoyable and extremely beneficial, as it has highlighted my interests and in the future, prompted me to consider it as a potential route to pursue a career in, whether cancer or patient-focused or within clinical trials.  As a result of this experience, I have also improved many personal skills throughout my placement so far, some of these being my communication, teamwork, organisation, and time management which will be crucial to my future career development.

"I am glad I considered taking a year in industry as it matures you as a person in readiness for the world of work and certainly puts some aspects of my degree and university learning back into context.  Moreover, it is a positive element to your CV for a future employer which can only be good thing."

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