Charlotte Hinds, Neuroscience BSc
I was initially drawn to UCL because of it's prime location. I came from a small town in a small country, so the excitement and possibilities of London were major attractions.
What attracted you to the Faculty of Life Sciences?
I was excited to be enrolled in the Faculty of Life Sciences because I knew my lecturers would be researchers at the forefront of the their fields. As always, UCLs reputation as a world-class research institute precedes it, so needless to say, I was immensely keen to experience this first-hand.
What did you enjoy most about studying in London?
The city itself was my favourite part about studying in London. I love the anonymity a bustling city like this provides - you can do just about anything, just about anywhere, and not see a soul you know (if that's what you want!). The possibilities here are endless too; chances are, there is a group/space/event somewhere dedicated to exactly your niche. There's something here for everyone.
What is your favourite memory of UCL?
Karaoke at Mully's!! Although I can't say I remember every night there...!
What advice would you give to current or prospective students?
Take advantage of the clubs and societies available within the Students' Union. UCL attracts students from all over the world, so the people you meet there will be some of the most interesting. Plus - everyone needs to take a proper break off from studying now and again!
What is your current job title and company name?
Project Co-ordinator at Imperial College London (Section of Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine).
Provide a brief summary of your core duties and the skills you use.
I co-ordinate the research projects undertaken within a drug discovery laboratory to establish preclinical efficacy of novel peptide therapeutics. This involves the in-vitro screening of drugability, via receptor potency assays and physiochemical characterisation, and rodent-model in-vivo screening of therapeutic potential. I oversee a small team of technicians and post graduate students who help with the completion of these studies. Some days my work is heavily focused in the lab, where I may spend several hours running a single ELISA; and other days my work is office-heavy, where I may be analysing large datasets, liaising with collaborators, or writing up reports.
Briefly describe your journey, from graduating to where you are now.
After graduating from UCL, I applied to broad spectrum of laboratory jobs. I had no idea what field I wanted to work within, I just knew that I enjoyed the practical aspects of being in a lab and that I did not want to enter academia. Eventually, I managed to get an interview within a drug development team at Imperial College London. They took me on as a lab technician for nine months, before offering me PhD studentship. Although I had never wished to become an academic, I recognised that this opportunity would be an excellent stepping stone towards industry, so I accepted the position. Three years later, I have completed my PhD (somehow writing a ~300 page thesis in the middle of a pandemic!), and secured a Project Co-ordinator role within the same lab, all of which I am immensely grateful for.
How do you think UCL has helped you in your career to date?
Having UCL as a recognisable and esteemed university on my CV has helped me secure interviews and progress through various panels. My experience there has also helped shaped my analytical mind, and laid the foundations for my academic writing skills.