March 7, 2014, by Beth Dawson

Thinking outside the lab: Stephanie’s career ambitions

Stephanie Smith, PhD Plant Sciences, Year 3StephGlasshouses

When I was little I wanted to be a nurse

My father was a doctor and my mother was a nurse; they gave me their old stethoscopes to play with. But I didn’t want to be a doctor because I thought I would have to cut people open – I was too squeamish for that!

When I was 16, I wanted to be a vet, then a pharmacist, then a businesswoman, then a lawyer

I was indecisive when growing up and didn’t really have a favourite subject either. I actually enjoyed pretty much everything – except PE and Maths. So I found it quite hard to think of a career I wanted to pursue and I’m still finding it hard now!

I want to continue to be involved with science, though not necessarily in academia or research

I would like to get into scientific writing, journal editing or become a patent attorney – something which will combine my love of different subjects rather than focusing on one thing too narrowly.

In ten years, I can see myself as a science journal editor

This is somewhat unusual for a scientist, but I find a lot of fulfilment in the writing and communication aspect of my degree. This job would allow me to combine my love of science and writing.

I have already had an internship with a journal and I would highly recommend getting some experience , if you can – don’t be afraid to ask your tutor for help in your search for a placement, they often have great contacts! I’ve also written articles and reviews for journals and university science magazines and have performed science outreach activities to help build my communication skills. I haven’t finished my PhD yet, but I often look at job listings to see what skills are been asked for – it never hurts to have a head start.

If, like Stephanie you’re interested in pursuing a career in science, our Biosciences Career Fair on 13 March is a great opportunity to meet employers and to explore graduate and placement opportunities. If you’re deciding what to do after university, why not book an appointment with a member of our team through My Career

Also, if hearing from Stephanie has sparked your interest in a career in scientific journalism, the Association of British Science Writers website is a great place to start your research. Our science careers beyond the lab webpage lists multiple resources to help you explore this profession and you can connect with us on Twitter and Facebook to find out about the latest opportunities and events.


Posted in PhD Students