A day in the life: Genetics

Dave Gear, BSc Genetics. 2014 Graduate.

What extracurricular activities did you do outside of your degree?

I played Rugby whilst at Leeds both for the University and FoBSoc faculty teams. It was great fun, a good laugh and also a brilliant way to meet new people.

What did you focus on in final year (dissertation)?

My final year project was based on DNA sequence analysis of a Moss mutant (Physcomitrella patens) unable to respond to Abscisic acid in low moisture levels. I was very fortunate to be able to gain high quality results that supported my hypothesis, and this aided my final write up a great deal! On reflection, I very much enjoyed carrying out my dissertation for the most part.

What is your current job?

Shortly after graduation, I gained a role as a Medical Sales Representative. My main focus lies in dermatology and the prescription sales of skin emollients for patients with dry skin conditions, including Eczema and Psoriasis.

What is a typical day?

I rarely have two days the same, but typically I begin by looking over my daily plan, then speculatively call at surgeries, practices or hospitals in the time between any meetings scheduled that day. Prior to visits, I have to know what I wish to gain; whether it be making future appointments, gaining important customer information or selling my range of products. Aside from physical meetings with Healthcare professionals, I try to make sales calls or do my daily admin.

How did you get the job and do you have any tips on how to get into the field?

I got the job through a graduate scheme assessment day. I sent my CV in via the Leeds university STAR careers centre website and eventually got invited for an assessment day. A great way to stand out when applying for jobs in medical sales is to show initiative by taking on new roles and responsibilities during your time at University, or through extra-curricular activities.

What is your future career plan?

My immediate goals are to progress my skills in my current position. As for the future, I would definitely like the opportunity to return to my Genetics background, as it is a field I am passionate about. I hope as the technology progresses, more jobs will be available for people with Genetics degrees.

Any advice for anyone going through the job application process?

The best single piece of advice I can give is to talk to someone who knows more about the different tools you can use to find jobs out there. Leeds university careers centre helped me massively, and they support students for an unlimited time after graduation. Once you know where to look, it is easier to keep yourself motivated.

Do you have an interesting fact about yourself?

I am currently the youngest person working in my company’s sales team; a fact that doesn’t go without teasing from team members! They are a fantastic department who support both my personal and professional development.

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