Come Monday I will start my new job as a research scientist at a biotechnology startup at the forefront of immunology, drug delivery, and probiotics. The role promises everything I could have hoped for: exciting work in a field I am passionate about, working alongside a highly motivated and inspiring team of world-leading researchers, and the opportunity to contribute to projects with the potential to make a real difference.
Almost as interesting as the role itself is the story of how I got it; this morning, as I headed in to my old university to enquire about PhD opportunities, I was completely unaware that the job was even available – and now the position is mine. Contrary to what you might expect I did not hear of this opportunity during the discussion itself (though it was interesting and informative), but rather it resulted from my acting upon a single piece of advice that I was given. That advice was to consider asking to see if there were any lab assistant or research posts or internships available in the meantime – as most courses of study begin in the summer term, some 10 months away yet.
The very first researcher I approached happens to be not only a professor at the university, but also the founder of the biotech startup of which I am now an employee. Upon hearing my enthusiasm for this area of research he presented the job opening to me, and before I knew it we were discussing my academic record and research experiences – my interview had begun. I am admittedly very fortunate that the professor is a stranger to neither me nor my work, having taught me throughout my undergraduate studies. It is also helpful that his laboratory is directly next door to that of the research group with whom I undertook a metabolomics project during my undergraduate studies (and whose head of research is my go-to academic referee).
Sometimes things just fall into place.