Graduated with MSci in Physics in 2007
Job title: Learning Facilitator, Centre of the Cell
From a young age I was very inquisitive and social person so finding a job to fit these qualities was always my mission, I now have. I graduated with an MSci in Physics in 2007 and began a PhD immediately, after one year I decided that this was not the career for me so began to look for a job in science communication.
This proved challenging as you need a lot of experience which I had to build up by volunteering with numerous organisations such as STEMNET. In early 2008, Techniquest in Cardiff gave me a home and I began my science communication training where I was presenting shows, workshops and demonstrations on a daily basis. After a year I got a job working for the award-winning interactive science education centre, Centre of the Cell in East London as a Learning Facilitator and have been working here ever since.
What do you do on an average day?
I don't really have an average day because my work is so varied. However, most days I get to the office and tend to any urgent emails around 9:30am then start to set up for the day. This could be; starting and running shows, preparing and running workshops onsite, taking workshops out to schools, going to festivals and performing shows, developing new material for shows and workshops (such as Snot, Sick and Scabs which was my latest show where I spend large portions of my day with my hands in bowls of fake snot), attending meetings and general office admin. Some of my working week is taken up with training at the moment as I am also learning sign language so that workshops and shows will eventually be sign assisted.
What did you learn from your physics degree?
I cannot imagine a better starting point to this career than a physics degree. The skills you learn through a physics degree and the technical knowledge you acquire are invaluable. It would be incredibly difficult for me to do my job if I did not have my science background.
What three things do you wish you'd known before graduating?
Experience, experience and experience. You have to have a lot of experience under your belt to get a job in the current climate; your academic achievements are not always enough. A lot of this experience will require you to search for it and hunt it out and in many cases work for free for a while. The earlier you start this the better, i.e. in university holidays etc.