James Dickie - BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science graduate

Current Employer: NHS

Current Job Title: Medical Technical Officer

Current Location: Oxford

“I graduated with first class honours, experience in an NHS lab, and a funded research project in the subject area of my choice (immunotherapeutics) under my belt. I wouldn’t be where I am now without these things on my CV. I’ve gotten everything I needed from studying at Plymouth.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

As soon as I graduated, I took a position in an NHS microbiology laboratory as an assistant technician to gain some real world laboratory experience. Using that experience I applied for my current position as a fully-fledged medical technician in transplant immunology.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

On top of my day-to-day work in the laboratory, I’m also part of the on-call organ retrieval team. This means traveling around the country to various hospitals and participating in surgery to retrieve organs from donors. It’s incredible to be involved in fast paced open surgery, even if it is usually during the middle of the night.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

I honestly don’t think I’d change a thing. As it came towards the end of my final year, I was panicking and feeling as though I’d chosen the wrong degree, studied the wrong area, applied to the wrong things. But now I’m happy as a clam, and all the worrying I did seems so misplaced.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Get real world laboratory experience, any laboratory experience. It could be mopping the floor in the laboratory for all it matters; as long as you can show anyone to whom you are applying that you have had your eye on laboratory work before you applied for the job.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

I graduated with first class honours, experience in an NHS lab, and a funded research project in the subject area of my choice (immunotherapeutics) under my belt. I wouldn’t be where I am now without these things on my CV. I’ve gotten everything I needed from studying at Plymouth.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

I had the time of my life studying at Plymouth, and it has catapulted me into an incredible job I’d never even considered before. If that isn’t a recommendation, I don’t know what is.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying biomedical science, please visit our BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science course and MSc Biomedical Science page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other alumni from the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry are currently doing, please visit the biological, health, chemical and agricultural sciences interest area.