Doing chemistry as a degree opens many doors to you

Toby Allen
Toby Allen
Research and Development Purification Scientist, Lonza Pharma and Biotech
Chemistry MChem
Toby landed a job in biotechnology after his chemistry degree, despite graduating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have recently started working for Lonza in Slough as a Research and Development Purification Scientist. The role involves the same kind of lab work that I did in my research project. I was searching for jobs like this one due to my enjoyment of that project. 
My masters research project was definitely the aspect I enjoyed most about my degree. It was in a completely new area of chemistry that I had not very much experience with – protein chemistry. However I learned a lot about the subject and enjoyed being independent and planning my own research. Another aspect I really enjoyed was third year group projects including Skills For Success and the group lab project.
Obviously the masters project was crucial in securing me my current position as it gave me experience in the relevant area of chemistry. However other aspects of the course gave me plenty of examples of things to talk about on cover letters and in the interviews. And as well as the practical skills I built up, other skills such as data analysis on Excel have been important. Also getting used to working as part of a team in group projects has been very helpful.
Doing chemistry as a degree opens quite a lot of doors to you. Obviously there's the opportunity to work in a laboratory setting, but there are a lot of other careers you can choose apart from working in a lab. I would recommend it based on this fact – you don't have to decide what it is you want to do straight away. I didn't realise what I wanted to do until a few months before I graduated.  
Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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