Blog | Opening doors to new skills and experiences
Blog | Opening doors to new skills and experiences.
Maria Alejandra Sanchez works as a laboratory technician at the UK Biocentre after moving from Argentina six months ago.

Watching the news and seeing how the virus was spreading I knew that I could play a useful role during the pandemic. As a biomedical engineer with a PhD in biomedical science I have a lot of lab-based experience which is important to the testing programme.

Working in the UK Biocentre laboratory and being part of the national testing effort is a great opportunity. I moved from Argentina six months ago and was looking for a job in the UK.  This experience will open doors for me in the future.

A learning experience

Having previously managed lab projects I already had a good understanding of lab techniques and protocols.  However, gaining experience of working in a lab in a different country has been very beneficial. I am learning about managerial processes in the UK and compliance standards.

I’m also using this opportunity to learn new skills.  I haven’t previously been involved in quality testing so it’s great to get experience in this area. I’m also really interested to see how the results are interpreted. This knowledge will be useful as I pursue my career.

Every day is different

Each day in the lab is different. The day starts with a team leader briefing during which we are assigned to any of the different stages of the testing process. Some days I work at the same station and on other days I rotate around. As a lab technician my role varies from managing the deactivation machines to unbagging samples.

Science can be quite solitary with time spent alone working in the lab but teamwork is a big part of life at UK Biocentre. Every part of the testing process is important and your work can make it easier for another team working in the later stages. Any errors can hold up the process. This makes you very conscious of your work.

I work with a great team of people who are from different backgrounds and stages of their academic careers. However, our end goal is the same – we work hard to get the testing right helping the vast majority of people to carry on with their lives.

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