Take time to discover your interests

Having always had an interest in drug development, Sophie Harrison chose to study BSc (Hons) Physiology and Pharmacology at the University. The course offered “anatomy understanding as well as pharmacokinetics”, and at the time she was unsure of which career path to take. Follow her story to see where that led her.

Sophie Harrison studied a BSc (Hons) in Physiology And Pharmacology.
Sophie Harrison studied a BSc (Hons) in Physiology And Pharmacology.

Following graduation in 2017, Sophie got a job working as a Clinical Trial Assistant at MAC Clinical Research in Manchester. Her duties included performing phase 1 clinical trials, laboratory work and clinical work – analysis, blood sampling, venepuncture, ECG and EEGs. Since then, she has transferred to the Blackpool site where she now works in late phase studies as a Study Coordinator.

“I previously worked in a pharmacy dispensing drugs, it gave me an interest in the mode of action of drugs on the body,” says Sophie. “I found the Drugs from Discovery to Use and Abuse module the most interesting so my degree helped me choose a career path.”

Her greatest achievement since graduating is becoming a Lead Clinical Trial Assistant on a diabetes study within her first three months at MAC. The University alumna says the skills gained here definitely helped shape her early career.

As she explains: "My degree increased my confidence. It made me realise where I wanted to go in life and gave me lifelong friends. I know I could still email my lecturers with any queries and they’d still be happy to help. Whenever I come back, I always say hello to my lecturers and I am so glad to see them again.”

Sophie has important advice for any students and recent graduates saying take your time to discover what interests you. LinkedIn is a good place to start, as you can see different career paths, as well as getting advice from employees at companies that appeal to you.

She says: “Don’t rush into choosing a career path, it took me until my final year of University to find my passion. Apply as soon as you have an interest and make that passion shine through at interview.”