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How I kick started my career in clinical trials

Posted: September 27 2019

It can be a struggle to stay motivated while job hunting as a graduate. Taking part in the Kick Start programme helped to up my game when it came to landing a graduate role. 

After university I felt like there were a few different avenues I could go down career wise. I had studied Biomedical Science and was pretty set on going into clinical trials, but I just wasn’t sure how to get there.

My first year after graduation started to drag as I applied for more and more graduate roles and was rejected from all of them. I felt like I was on a constant treadmill of rejections and disappointment. Fortunately, I still had the job I secured while at university but this meant I was working every day and struggling to find the time to job hunt. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, losing both hope and motivation.

In the spring of 2019, I was contacted by the PDC and told about the Kick Start programme in which I would be given a careers coach to help me in whatever I wanted to do, whether it was postgraduate study or applying for jobs. I was told that it would run for 3 months, and I jumped at the chance for this opportunity! I really liked the fact that Brunel didn’t abandon you as soon as you graduated and were offering extra support at one of the times I needed it most.

The sessions with my coach over the weeks were very helpful. We worked on whatever I wanted to focus on, whether it be CV writing one week, applying for jobs the next or working on my interview technique. I went through a couple of mock interviews and these were extremely helpful.  By this time, I had built up a really good rapport with my coach who gave me constructive criticism so that I could work on my weak points and do it better when it came to the real thing.

Clinical trials

The final outcome after all of this was a job! I managed to secure a role working for one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, all with the help of the Kick Start programme.  So far, it’s going great. I’ve been doing a month’s worth of training and will soon be working on some clinical trials. I actually work in the same office as the research and development director and the Vice-President!

Current skills I’m developing include organisation (I have to be really good at juggling meetings and conference calls and trial deadlines) as well as networking – sharing an office with such important people means that you get to learn a bit about the industry as a whole and what IS involved in specific roles. I see myself working my way up to Local Trial Manager. Many graduates start in my position as a Clinical Trials Assistant, working up to a Site Manager and then to a Local Trial Manager and even up to Directors and Clinical Research Managers, so hopefully I will end up there with my own office with my name on the wall too!

All our graduates have access to careers support for up to 3 years after leaving the University. We launched our new Kick Start programme in Spring 2019 especially for  recent grads in need of some extra support on their career journey.