Degree: MChem Chemistry with Study in Industry
Graduate role: Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Vernalis Research
Mark took a placement at GlaxoSmithKline during his degree, which helped him get the experience he needed to land a job at a company specialising in cancer research.
"I was drawn to chemistry because its applications are all around us – in healthcare, in technology and even in the food we eat. I love working in organic chemistry whereby I can get involved in the design and synthesis of molecules. I also enjoy solving challenging synthetic issues by being able to understand the reaction mechanisms and sometimes with the use of 'curly arrows'.
"When I visited the department in Sheffield, I found the academics very helpful and friendly. They had great links with industry and there’s a member of staff designated to help you set up placements. I chose to study the Chemistry with a Year in Industry course at university and my placement year with GlaxoSmithKline really set me up for my future career.
"Vernalis Research works in structure-based drug discovery and specialises in cancer research, which overlaps with a lot of the topics I studied on my degree. That knowledge combined with the industrial work placement I did at GSK were invaluable to getting the job, because I could show that I had lots of experience, both practical and theoretical, in medicinal chemistry."