Emma Walker is the Scientific Recruitment Consultant at STEM Graduates and she has prepared the following
Don’t overlook sales roles
Many science companies in the UK are on the lookout for fresh graduates to help promote their business, and sell their products. I have found that many candidates can be put off by the concept of targets/ new business development, and a career in sales is not what they anticipated when selecting their degree. However, scientific sales positions are often some of the most underrated positions in industry. Not only is the annual salary frequently higher than most entry level laboratory jobs, you will still get to use your technical knowledge ! I am often asked whether previous sales experience is required for such positions. The answer is no! Many clients just want to see evidence that you are a good communicator, have worked in a client facing position (retail) or have been in positions of social responsibility… such as a course representative?
Search based on your skillset, as well as your degree type
Matching your degree type to certain opportunities will ensure that your particular academic strengths don’t go unnoticed. For example, graduates with a neuroscience background would be especially valued by employees selling laboratory equipment to neurological R&D companies. However, understanding your skillset in detail will ensure you find a career you can really thrive in. You should consider opportunities that might combine your work experience, extracurricular activities, what you particularly enjoyed through your university course and the areas of science you are especially passionate about. For example, those who pride themselves on their leadership abilities (shown by perhaps, being the captain of a sports team) could find that they would be comfortable in a Project Manager position. Employers consider CVs based on an applicant’s personal history, as well as their professional background – and so should you!
The science industry is a very exciting place to be at the moment, with many companies growing year on year. Recent surges in technology, chemical discoveries and demand for new products have resulted in a wide variety of job roles for our graduates. For example; those with commercial work experience in a laboratory environment, or even throughout their degree, can now hone in on particular techniques and use them to support new product development. Mass spectrometry, HPLC or DNA sequencing are just some of the methods often used in such processes. If you’d like to take a step away from the lab, knowledge of good manufacturing practice can help you begin a career in regulation. Every lab needs to abide by a set of strict regulations. Office based regulatory consultants and compliance officers have become experts in their fields, earn a good salary and have been able to use their laboratory knowledge in an alternative way.
All in all, every science background is different – and there will always be a perfect job for every candidate. If you still require assistance finding out what would be suitable to you, please sign up to STEM Scientific, and I would be personally happy to help.
Written by Emma Walker, Science Desk