Finishing Biology degree - Looking to get into the gene therapy industry

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Jake.Ashton
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So i'm finishing my biology degree in 2 days... Yay!

I have been looking at jobs in the gene therapy sector, as since doing my dissertation (titled: Gene therapy - A brave new world or a nightmare?), I have become fascinated by subject.

However, since briefly looking over jobs in this sector it seems most ask for previous experience in a GMP commercial environment, specifically relating to ones involving gene therapy. However I cannot find any of these 'entry' level jobs anywhere. Almost all job postings require you to have previous experience of pretty much the exact same job!

Was wondering if any of you could help me out and point me in the right direction.

Cheers x
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Jake.Ashton)
So i'm finishing my biology degree in 2 days... Yay!

I have been looking at jobs in the gene therapy sector, as since doing my dissertation (titled: Gene therapy - A brave new world or a nightmare?), I have become fascinated by subject.

However, since briefly looking over jobs in this sector it seems most ask for previous experience in a GMP commercial environment, specifically relating to ones involving gene therapy. However I cannot find any of these 'entry' level jobs anywhere. Almost all job postings require you to have previous experience of pretty much the exact same job!

Was wondering if any of you could help me out and point me in the right direction.

Cheers x
It is a bit of a vicious cycle. You need work experience to get work experience. The only thing to do is to keep looking and applying as someone will take a chance on you at some point.
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Jake.Ashton
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(Original post by alleycat393)
It is a bit of a vicious cycle. You need work experience to get work experience. The only thing to do is to keep looking and applying as someone will take a chance on you at some point.
Any suggestions of places to look into? I’ve emailed a few companies but am under no illusion I’ll get an email back...
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Jake.Ashton)
Any suggestions of places to look into? I’ve emailed a few companies but am under no illusion I’ll get an email back...
Things like nature, new scientist, jobs, reed. You need to sign up to some job websites which will have listings from a number of companies.
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Jake.Ashton
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Ok ill look into it.

Other then that there is the possibility of a Masters, but there is only one place in the country that does gene therapy at a masters level and that is UCL. Would you think this would also be required, or would a Bsc be adequate?
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username853993
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(Original post by Jake.Ashton)
Ok ill look into it.

Other then that there is the possibility of a Masters, but there is only one place in the country that does gene therapy at a masters level and that is UCL. Would you think this would also be required, or would a Bsc be adequate?
It will say in job requirements if one if required

Another route (as well as just keep applying, asking for feedback and acting on that feedback) could be to do a phd in gene therapy? possibly when companies ask for previous experience they mean in the techniques (or similar) that they use, which could be gained from doing a phd in gene therapy (I could be wrong though but just a thought/possibility)
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Jake.Ashton)
Ok ill look into it.

Other then that there is the possibility of a Masters, but there is only one place in the country that does gene therapy at a masters level and that is UCL. Would you think this would also be required, or would a Bsc be adequate?
Again it depends on jobs that you are going for. I would get applying and see what feedback you get. Collecting masters degrees for the sake of it is not going to help. The fact that there is just one available shows that demand is not high and thus requirement is non-existent.
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Jake.Ashton
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Ok, thanks guys!

I think i'm just going to have to go in with the mind set that i'm going to be lab ***** for a couple years... but that's fine!
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Jake.Ashton
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https://apply.iintegra.com/vacancy/p...5583&jbid=1052

Ok, so this a graduate level role, entry level if you will. Would you still suggest applying even though it says industry experience required? Could i blag this as my knowledge of the industry through my diss??
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Student-95
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(Original post by Jake.Ashton)
https://apply.iintegra.com/vacancy/p...5583&jbid=1052

Ok, so this a graduate level role, entry level if you will. Would you still suggest applying even though it says industry experience required? Could i blag this as my knowledge of the industry through my diss??
You can try. All you stand to lose is the time you spend on the application. Do you have any experience with the skills and techniques listed in the responsibilities section?
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Jake.Ashton
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(Original post by Student-95)
You can try. All you stand to lose is the time you spend on the application. Do you have any experience with the skills and techniques listed in the responsibilities section?
Some, but not enough to represent a deeper understanding of the processes involved. I just don't understand how someone is supposed to get involved in this industry? You would expect something like "Entry level lab assistant - Gene therapy development" to be a thing... but it isn't.
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Student-95
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(Original post by Jake.Ashton)
Some, but not enough to represent a deeper understanding of the processes involved. I just don't understand how someone is supposed to get involved in this industry? You would expect something like "Entry level lab assistant - Gene therapy development" to be a thing... but it isn't.
They don't specify that the industry experience needs to be in gene therapy so a science based placement year or summer internship would suffice. Also it's not completely clear from the wording but you could read the requirement as a master's degree without experience or a bachelor's with experience as the minimum.
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Jake.Ashton
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(Original post by Student-95)
They don't specify that the industry experience needs to be in gene therapy so a science based placement year or summer internship would suffice. Also it's not completely clear from the wording but you could read the requirement as a master's degree without experience or a bachelor's with experience as the minimum.
Yeah I did notice the masters thing...

However, a year at UCL would cost me 20k+ and i'm trying, for obvious reasons, to find any other alternate option. A science based placement year is not a bad idea, although most of these that I have found tend to be geared towards people with A-Levels and not degrees!
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Student-95
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(Original post by Jake.Ashton)
Yeah I did notice the masters thing...

However, a year at UCL would cost me 20k+ and i'm trying, for obvious reasons, to find any other alternate option. A science based placement year is not a bad idea, although most of these that I have found tend to be geared towards people with A-Levels and not degrees!
The placement year was more in answer to the question of how other people go into the industry.
At this point you should probably try to get something in gene therapy but failing that, get a related role in a different area then once you have some experience you'll be in a better position to apply for gene therapy roles that come up.
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