Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Academic Chicken Vs. The Work Experience Egg – Which Comes First?

Chicken Vs. Egg

Over the past couple of months, I have given a number of talks to postgraduate and second level students about careers in STEM-Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in conjunction with various groups such as WITS (Women in Technology and Science), Trinity College Dublin and their Molecular Medicine postgrads, RCSI and for Science Foundation Ireland Smart Futures program during SciFest. The common theme at each of these events was careers in STEM, the different types of career paths you can take, and most importantly HOW to get your first job in this area.

As a STEM graduate myself, I am aware of the challenges out there for people trying to get the foot on the jobs ladder and the catch 22 we are all so familiar with “You need X amount of years industry experience for this role”, but it can be very difficult to get this experience in the first place and can be a quiet disheartening for new graduates. Is there a way, as a graduate, to make you more employable without industry experience? The simple answer to this is yes, however you do need to be determined and not give up after some rejections. Here are 4 simple tips I hope you find helpful in your job search:

1. Choose a career direction

There are many different careers path you can take in STEM, such as careers in pharma, biotech, medical devices & ICT as well as many others, so first of all make sure you do your research around the different types of jobs out there and which ones you think you would enjoy. Once you have identified this, have a look at all the companies that have these roles and where they are located. Yes, we do always hear about new jobs in Dublin, however there are numerous indigenous Irish companies and multinational companies based in Ireland with 9 out of the top 10 Pharma companies based here.

2. Put the time into your CV

Your C.V is obviously hugely important as in some cases, this may be the first impression you make on someone. Make sure your C.V is well written and tailored specifically for each role. We have really useful C.V templates available on our website here .

3. Update your LinkedIn profile

It is very useful to have an up to date LinkedIn profile which should include a picture brief summary of yourself. You can use this to connect to people you know and join groups and follow companies you may be interested in working with.

4.Get out there and network

Face to face networking can one of the most effective methods of securing your first role, be sure to attend careers day etc and bring an up to date version of your C.V with you.

Although the above tips are extremely useful and the transferable skills we gain while studying for our degree, such as time management, organisational skills and communication skills to name just a few are imperative, I think our educational system should also step in and assist in making students more employable after years of study. Yes, there are courses out there that offer placements in industry but not everyone has the option to go to these colleges so in my opinion I think our educational system does need provide a more industry focused aspect in all courses to allow students to easily make the move into industry if they so wish.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and thank you so much for reading.



Life Science News, November 12th 2013

A New Type of Microbe Has Been Discovered in Two Distant Clean Rooms.

The way I see it, there are two types of people;

Global Top 10 Most Expensive Prescription Medicines


1. Ravicti: $794,000 per year – Ravicti is used to treat urea cycle disorders (UCD), genetic diseases that prevent the body from getting rid of ammonia.

Horizon Pharma – Horizon have an office in Dublin city centre which focuses on CMO (Contract Manufacturing Organisation) Management and other centralised services.



2. Spinraza: $750,000 per year – this drug is used for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) drug Spinraza

Biogen – the only company on this list without a direct presence in Ireland. Come on, Biogen, we don’t bite!

The Week in Life Science #2

AIDS vaccines, crowd-sourced cloud-computed astronomy, sea monsters, and butthurt men are just some of the stars of this weeks Week in Science.

Tissue engineering a heart is easy!

First, you need a donor heart. This can come from humans but scientists currently agree that in fact pigs may be more suitable donors! They carry all of the necessary components of the extracellular matrix without being prone to human disease.

Beautiful Aerial Photo of Dublin Bay in Summer.

dublin_-_sunny_ha_penny_bridgeThis incredible photo of Dublin was taken by Twitter user Maria Sweeney. Its amazing what a bit of sun can do for this country, I’ll tell you that much. My first thought was ‘where is this tropical wonderland?’ Apparently it’s just what Dublin actually looks like when it’s not one of the 128 days a year that it rains here. That, and when you’re a couple of thousand meters above Howth head. Needless to say, we are in the middle of what can only be described as ‘genuine Summer weather’ here in Ireland’s Capital.

Commander Chris Hadfield Receives Award from the Lord Mayor of Dublin

220px-Chris_Hadfield_2011You may remember Commander Chris Hadfield. He’s the Canadian astronaut who spent the last 5 months becoming the world’s latest (and most social media savvy) space celebrity. Achievements unlocked during his stay aboard the International Space Station include a Twitter following of almost 1 million, a popular Tumblr blog and one of the most engaged-with Reddit AmAs (Ask me Anythings) of all time.

Dublin’s Newest Bridge to be Named After One of Ireland’s Nobel Prize Winners?

200px-Ernest_WaltonVisitors to Dublin’s city centre recently will probably have noticed that the River Liffey is expecting a new addition to its family of bridges at Marlborough St. which will allow the Luas to light rail system to cross.. Dublin City Council has just announced the shortlist of 17 names from 85 official nominations and will announce which one the bridge will be named after on June 12th. Among the names on the shortlist is Ernest Walton, Ireland’s only Nobel prize winner for science.

Genetic Mystery of Irish Potato Famine Solved.

potatoI’m Currently in the middle of BBC’s fantastic documentary The Story of Ireland, narrated by Fergal Keane. Investigated in one of the episodes are the devastating consequences of the potato blight which caused the Irish Famine in the mid-19th century. Caused by the microorganism, Phytophthora infestans (Latin for ‘plant destroying infestation), the blight destroys the leaves of potato crops causing the potatoes to rot.

Is the taste of beer intoxicating?

The lightweights among us might have a neurological excuse for their prompt reaction to alcohol, according to a published study in Neuropsychopharamcology this week. According to the findings, the mere taste of Beer is enough to trigger a buzz in men. The research showed that even a small mouthful of beer – too small to cause direct alcoholic intoxication – prompts a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the reward centre of men’s brain. This research has strong implications for our understanding of addiction, especially since this response was found to be stronger in men with close relatives who suffer from alcoholism.