I work in the Clinical Pharmacology Unit, co-ordinating laboratory tests for Phase I clinical trials.
On a typical day I would spend my time reading a study plan, coordinating lab activities, writing sampling instructions and ensuring samples have been sent to different research organisations. I am likely to also have to attend meetings and might carry out staff training.
I started a two year apprenticeship when I was seventeen. I was then offered a permanent job in safety assessment working in the Histology laboratory. I stayed there for fifteen years, I then felt I had gone as far as I was going to go with my job and then decided to change.
I worked in the summer in the laboratories and enjoyed that. The apprenticeship meant that I was able to study and earn money at the same time, furthering my education by attending college day release.
I left School with GCSEs. During my two-year apprenticeship, I did an ONC in Biology. When I joined Histology I continued and did an HNC in Biology and then an honours degree in Biological Sciences at Manchester University.
I feel now, as there are so many graduates, that you need to stand out by obtaining an MSc or PhD. But that is purely my own opinion.
I could become a study delivery leader, then study delivery coordinator and eventually drug safety coordinator.
Good organisation skills and communication skills.
Gain some work experience to see if it is really what you want to do.
My first experience of the pharmaceutical industry was as a 12-week summer placement at Pfizer in their early formulation department.