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I’m Amy, and I have recently joined Ashfield as an Associate Medical Writer within its Allegro Intake 3. As a keen blogger, I couldn’t say no to the opportunity of writing in the style that I enjoy the most! This post is about how I originally came across medical writing and Ashfield, and how I got to where I am now.

Me and my complimentary fruit basket!

It was only in my fourth and final year of university that ‘medical writing’ sprung out as a career option. Growing up, my strengths lay in maths and science; not so much in literacy, but this didn’t stop me from pursuing my love of reading and writing. With a lot of hard work and consistently sending all the work I had done to my Mum (who, I should add, is annoyingly good with grammar and spelling), I persevered to get better at it. I also found out that good writing skills were important for my integrated master’s degree in Biology at the University of Nottingham, as surprisingly it’s rather beneficial.

As my degree progressed, my ambition of becoming a top researcher dwindled (me and the laboratory did not get on well) and I felt as though I had been left without a paddle. How could I incorporate my scientific knowledge into a career, but not go into research? In my fourth year I was asked to set up a scientific blog, which is how my interest in scientific writing kicked off. My blog, ‘Science So Farr’ at WordPress, was aimed towards a lay audience, and it was incredibly rewarding to have people comment on how accessible I had made science for them. It was then I realised I would love to write about science for a living, but I had no idea what career would allow me to do that; more so, without a PhD to my name.

A few months before my graduation, I received an email from Ashfield through the Life Sciences department of the University promoting their Allegro Programme. This is when I first found out about what medical writing entailed, and I was sold. After a phone call, a short video interview and countless back-and-forth emails with Rachel and Katie, I was invited to attend the assessment
centre.

The assessment centre was NOTHING like what I had experienced with any job interview. In fact, I would go as far to describe the day as ‘enjoyable’. Any nerves I had originally didn’t stick around for long, as the staff evaluating us were friendly, enthusiastic and welcoming. The candidates themselves were also very supportive of each other. The exercises used to test us were fun, different
and creative, and they were perfect for getting me to come out of my shell. In addition, I had the best interview that I could have possibly had; it helped having two interviewers who overran because they were so chatty!

A few days after, I received a phone call to tell me that I’d been offered the job. Describing myself as ecstatic at this news would be an understatement. I couldn’t wait to attend the ‘Meet and Greet’, which was arranged a month before the start date to allow me to meet the others who would also be on the programme. It is worth me mentioning that on the day of the assessment centre, I
introduced myself to a guy who looked as nervous as I felt. At the end of the day, I found myself rooting for him to get onto the programme (but hopefully not taking my place!). Thankfully, at the
Meet and Greet, Jamie was there. The other candidates were chatty, friendly and funny, which added to my excitement of starting the programme in October.

Fast forward a month to Monday 1st October, when the Allegro programme began. Here we are outside Victoria Mill on that day:

A good-looking bunch!

I won’t reveal too much about my first two weeks here, as I’m sure that can be included in a future post! So far, though, I can say with honesty that I am loving every day here and I am looking forward to all that is yet to come!

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