As I approached the end of my MPharm at Keele University, it was becoming increasingly apparent that life as a pharmacist wasn’t quite right for me. This was unfortunate – having a vocational degree with no intention of following that vocation is definitely a tough position to be in! I had always been a scientist at heart and, as such, I looked for opportunities to branch into research, which led to me doing an MSc(Res) in translational oncology at the University of Sheffield. There, I had the fantastic opportunity not only to develop my skills in the lab, but also to learn more about scientific writing.
It was during my studies at Sheffield that I attended a careers event with a guest speaker who worked as a senior medical writer. I was very interested by the prospect of a career that combined my passion for science with my communication skills and also offered the opportunity for consistent development in both of these areas. With my time as a postgraduate nearing its end, I had to decide whether to progress to a PhD. Ultimately, although I still loved being in a lab, I wasn’t sure if I could handle another 3 years of studentship. I turned my attention to finding a career that offered both stability and variety – medical writing seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
While job hunting, I happened across an opening for an Associate Medical Writer role at Oxford PharmaGenesis. I was offered an interview after completing a writing test, and met the team at their Oxford office. I was immediately impressed with how friendly everybody was; even during the interview itself, I felt completely at ease. It must have paid off because I was promptly offered an opportunity to join the team in January 2020, which I snapped right up!
My first couple of months in the office were an intense but enjoyable period of learning, with the rest of my team more than willing to pitch in with my induction and make sure I felt welcomed. Although in March we shifted from office-based to home working because of the pandemic, the team continued to stay in regular contact and help me in whatever way they could to ensure a smooth transition.
Having been at Oxford PharmaGenesis for a little over a year now, I’m absolutely sure that I made the right decision in choosing to pursue medical writing as a career. I have had ample opportunity to get involved in a wide range of work, from manuscripts to congress materials and web articles, across a number of therapeutic areas. Looking ahead, I’m eager to see what the future holds – given how strongly Oxford PharmaGenesis values growth and development, I’m certain that it will be full of opportunities.