"I will never forget a meeting with my tutor, Mike Foulkes who taught me the art of development. Mike said to me ‘Rosemary, in order for you to do well in life you need to be able to take criticism and work harder from it. It isn’t nice being told you didn’t do something right, but having that information gives you an advantage because now you know what areas you should work on; through doing that you will learn and develop significantly through life.’ Those wise words have stuck with me and I have been able to face every challenge with my head raised high knowing that: yes I may fail at times but I can get up, stay motivated and do much better.”
Rosemary Ichaba - BSc (Hons) Chemistry graduate
Graduate Rosemary works as a Project Specialist for a biopharmaceutical organisation.
Current job title: Project Specialist – General Medicine
Current employer: Syneos Health
Course: BSc (Hons) Chemistry
Year of graduation: 2016
"I think Plymouth is a great place to study; there are a number of services at your disposal to help you learn, grow and develop. Being at Plymouth took me out of my comfort zone into a world of diversity and I believe that every student will love what Plymouth has to offer."
"After I graduated I started my MSc in Drug Discovery and Pharma Management. The masters was a year long and I had the opportunity to complete a three month summer internship at a clinical research organisation to aid the completion of my final dissertation. During these three months I was situated within the Study Start-Up (SSU) department helping the Regulatory and Operations department. I was able to work with directors and managers to create and maintain trackers that will be utilised during the start-up of clinical trials. We also had the opportunity to hold an event for the company called 'The Chocolate Trial' where we held our own clinical trial for our colleagues. The trial was composed for the staff to guess the flavours of chocolate, by means of a blinded trial – which was a great way of understanding how clinical trials are organised and the number of submissions required to get approval."
"During the first quarter of 2018, I was approached by Syneos Health to work as a Project Specialist in the general medicine department. My role is very hands on and I work with Project Managers and Directors to manage clinical studies from beginning to end. This entails a number of different activities such as the creation and maintenance of trackers, participating in audits, attending important meetings, corresponding with sites and clients. There is a lot to my role but I love it."
"I am a mentor within my department which gives me the opportunity to learn but also help the new members of our team succeed in such a dynamic role."
"In all honesty, the University of Plymouth took a chance with me. I didn’t get the best A levels but I had a strong passion to study chemistry. When I called to secure my place I decided to do a foundation year first because I was lacking in confidence. But I honestly believe, the confidence and assurance I received from the person on the other end of the call created some hope that I can go ahead and study chemistry. The Royal Society of Chemistry accreditation was also a bonus for first years which I thought was a good incentive to get an introduction to the chemistry world."
"Being surrounded by an array of experienced people helped me feel like I could do anything and everything."
"I had great support from my lecturers who helped direct my thought trail when I was unsure. I had a lot of people that believed in me which really helped me believe in myself and I knew that I would be successful in whatever role I decided to go for. Being at Plymouth helped me plan my next steps as soon as I had some sort of idea as to what I wanted to do next and I gained a lot of support, for example lecturers reading over my applications and CV."
Chemistry Flux changed my life for the better
"I was a bit stuck as to what I was doing after I graduated but lucky for me competing in the Chemistry Flux competition inspired me to search for a job where I could combine business and science. This is how I began my research into the pharmaceutical industry."
"Proudly participating in the Chemistry Flux competition changed my life for the better. It was on this day I decided that I had a passion for business and science and I had to find a way to combine the two. Creating an idea and presenting to extremely established judges birthed a new spur of confidence in myself where I knew I was able to work on the spot and deliver. My team came second in the finals but even though we didn’t come first the event helped me formulate a plan for what I could do when I finished university."
Help at every stage
Careers and employability
"The careers and employability service helped me get ready for the working world. I was able to send my CV through to be scrutinised and also had mock interview calls and meetings to help me prepare for interviews which was a really useful activity."
"The library helped me organise and develop time management; as there were a range of resources which I could easily use to help me understand my course and study efficiently. I was also able to book a room and work at University instead of going home which was very helpful."
Empowering women in STEM
"The best thing I have done so far was coming back to Plymouth University to give the motivational presentation during the ‘Girls in Chemistry event’ held for students. That was amazing! Being able to give back to Plymouth University and talk about my progress since graduating was remarkable. It helped me realise how far I have come and how much more I can give."
We're a long-term supporter of the Athena SWAN programme. This is a national scheme, focused on advancing equality for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education.Find out more about our Athena work
Inspired by this story?
For more information about studying chemistry, please visit our BSc (Hons) Chemistry course page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, please visit the school page.
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