Stephen Berry, 30 December, 2021
From nutrition to biomedical science, Stephen found his true passion following an unexpected career change.
Despite having a background in nutrition, studying biomedical science at QUT inspired me to change the direction of my career and become a bioprocess scientist. I majored in biochemistry and worked with protein chemistry and microbiome therapeutics, which I had prior interest in. What makes my job enjoyable is the constant change in routine and tasks - there is no standard work day. The company I am currently working at contributes the molecules required for clinical testing of new therapeutic drugs for patients with a range of conditions to improve their health and quality of life.
QUT was my first choice for biomedical science because of its practical reputation, flexibility, and choices within the course. I felt the emphasis on practical learning not only reinforced theory, but challenged me to gain a deeper understanding of what I had learned. The repetition of basic lab skills throughout the course improved my confidence in my own abilities and knowledge of lab safety. I would say the practical work and large amount of time spent in the laboratories was by far the most enjoyable and beneficial aspect of the course.
As part of my studies, we had practical learning offsite with other organisations. This demonstrated how real workplaces operated, the kind of environments I could work in, and what skills I would use most often. I was already accustomed to working with others as I had previous experience in the workforce, but this experience highlighted components of the course that I would need to focus on, and introduced entirely new factors to consider.
The lecturers in my chosen major had a great deal of experience, which enabled them to provide clear examples and highlight relevant industry challenges. Many of the biochemistry technology and research-based lab practicals were very well planned out with considerable preparation in order to give students the best learning experience possible. In these practicals, the lecturers were often just as excited as the students, as they were keen to pass on their skills and knowledge.
The connections I made at QUT were made through a genuine interest to learn as much as possible during my studies. By talking with academics after lectures, during practicals, or via email, I not only learnt more, but also showed that I had the initiative and drive to put in the extra work. Through these connections, I was able to secure a role within three months of finishing my degree.
My advice is to consider which area of the biomedical field you want to work in, as QUT offers a range of majors and minors which directly affect what you will learn and which role you would be most suitable for.