Leah Smith enjoyed her studies a lot more than she expected. Find out why...

March 11, 2022 -

As part of our John Mather Trust Awards coverage, we're speaking to some of this year's recipients to find out what they're up to now, and how they enjoyed their time at Ayrshire College.

The John Mather Trust rewards our graduates who have: learned a trade and gone into employment, an apprenticeship or set up their own business within the past year. Those fortunate enough to be eligible for a John Mather award received a set of tools of the trade to help them in their careers.

The newest member of our marketing team, Claire Todd caught up with Leah Smith about her studies at Ayrshire College. Read on to find out more.

 What course did you study and why did you choose it?

I chose to study an HNC Applied Science then an HND in Biomedical Science as it was a field that I was always interested in and I was intrigued to know more.

Was the course what you expected?

The course was better than I expected, I loved it!

What does a typical day on the course involve?

A typical day included: interactive lectures, groupwork, working alone and working in a laboratory environment – learning the basics and understanding Health and Safety requirements in a lab.

What did you love about your course?

I loved the varied branches of Science we covered including Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting this course?

Go for it! These courses were the best thing I ever decided to do, if I could do it all over again, I would.

What is your role and what company do you now work for?

I am currently a Technical Lab Assistant for a company called Mitie, we are based at GSK in Irvine.

Why did you choose this career and is the reality of the role what you expected? 

I chose this career as it gives me relevant experience for the future when I finish my degree and decide which route to take. The reality was quite different - I didn’t believe I would have so much responsibility, but because I done the course I was competent in Health and Safety and a laboratory setting.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

A typical day in my role mainly involves making eluent/diluents for HPLC systems which contributes to the overall production of an antibiotic called Augmentin. I also collect samples, clean glassware, calibrate pH metres, calibrate balances and overall support the laboratory team with any other requests.

What do you love about your job? 

I love that each day is different; different eluents/diluents need made dependant on the pace and job the team are carrying out. I also love the environment of my job as it’s different to any other job I've had in the past.

How did your college course help you prepare for this role? 

My college course helped me learn the jargon in a lab, how to use certain machines and equipment and to understand the importance of risk assessments and health and safety in the workplace.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting this career?

I would tell someone who was thinking about starting this career that at first all of the information is quite overwhelming but once you actually get to start training, it becomes so much easier, so don’t panic!

What is next for you?

I am now in my third year of university studying a joint honours degree in Biochemistry with Immunology. I plan on finishing university and getting my degree whilst working as a technical laboratory assistant and learning more in the field.

 

Check out the courses Leah studied here: 

https://www1.ayrshire.ac.uk/courses/HNC_Applied_Sciences

https://www1.ayrshire.ac.uk/courses/HND_Biomedical_Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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