The foundational knowledge you gain during your studies will help with later job applications

Christina J Vanhinsbergh
Christina J Vanhinsbergh
Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca
MSc Biological and Bioprocess Engineering
Christina J Vanhinsbergh studied the MSc Biological and Bioprocess Engineering in the department. Christina is now a Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca.

Why did you decide to study the BBE course? 

I decided that learning about biotechnology concepts with an integrated engineering mindset would be beneficial to my future career, as I aimed to progress into industry. I felt the courses offered on the MSc programme would introduce me to industry relevant techniques and teach me more biotechnological skills within the laboratory. 

What did you enjoy about the MSc?

I really enjoyed the experimental research project, which encompasses a third of the MSc grade. I had noted during previous research that specific analysis techniques were ubiquitous across different industries, so chose a project focusing on high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis of glycoproteins. I feel that the skills I gained during my research project paved the way for my progression into my PhD research.

Do you think the MSc set you up with the skills to move into employment? 

I moved into a development scientist role once I had completed my MSc studies and found many of the computational biology skills relevant to my work. I was able to write simple computer data analysis programs to make my job at the company easier. After a short term at the company, I was offered a PhD position at the University of Sheffield and found myself back in the same lab as I had been in whilst doing my MSc experimental research project.

Any advice for people taking this course? 

My advice for prospective students would be to arm yourself with some prior knowledge about your courses and choose the optional modules you think will be directly relevant to your future career plans. The foundational knowledge you gain during your studies will help with later job applications and also guide you into your next steps (either further postgraduate studies or what employment positions to apply for). 

What's in the future for you now? 

I will be finishing my PhD studies within the next year or so and will transition into industrial analysis of biotherapeutics as a career path.