My current job is as a Senior Researcher and Project Manager at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre. It involves a number of different roles. I manage a project that aims to support patients with cancer to share in the decision making process with their consultants. This involves carrying out research following a strict protocol and working alongside clinical nurse specialists and consultants. I carry out data entry and analysis; disseminating my work at conferences and in journal articles. I am also developing a website for people with cancer and carrying out research to support its development. I supervise assistant psychologists whose assistance has been critical to the smooth running of this busy project. It's a busy role and on any given day I can wear a number of different hats.
I had initially taken up my degree with the belief that I would become a Music Therapist. I realised in my fourth year that I wanted a different sort of career. I had enjoyed my dissertation and was encouraged to pursue a PhD. I guess those early experiences set me on this particular path.
There really are so many things students could do. Work really hard in your degree - it will help you on your way. Expect the best for yourself when you leave. Apply for your dream job and ask people in those jobs what you need to do to get where you want to be. It is also important to learn how to sell your skills to a potential employer. You have learned how to present an argument through tutorials, essays and presentations. You have learned how to write concisely, learned how to critically evaluate what you have been told or read, but mostly you have learned that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. I would advise students to attend the Careers Advisory Service to gain experience in selling their skills.
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