Kamil Choudhury

Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)

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  • Year of graduation: 2022
  • Current job title: Critical Care Scientist
  • Current employer: Royal Papworth NHS Trust – Cambridge
  • Industry sector: Healthcare

Your University Journey

Why did you choose your course at UON?

After being unsuccessful in applying to medicine, I decided to pursue biomedicine instead as an alternative route into the medical field and to also provide me with other options. I also wanted to move out of London, so when looking for a course I saw that UON had a new Biomedical Science course with newer modules and content that other universities didn’t offer. After attending an open day and meeting with the Senior Lecturer, I was more confident in choosing the Biomedical Science course at UON.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most and why?

My favourite part of the course was the final Biomedical Research Project. I was able to conduct my own primary research into Alzheimer’s, looking into its bioenergetics. I enjoyed this part of the course as I was able to independently create and test my own methods and produce new findings that will be used in the future by other students and scientists. I was also able to work on the project collaboratively with my supervisor, exchanging results and theories, making me feel like a fellow academic. The research project also gave me an opportunity to present my novel findings, research and theories to a research group, named the BERGr, which was an exceptionally great opportunity for an undergraduate degree and an experience I was able to talk about during interviews, conferences and in my current role.

Did you do any extra-curricular activities while at UON?

Yes, during my time at UON I participated in various sports, from Archery, Climbing, Badminton and Snowsports, attending BUCS competitions, training sessions and also social events. In my second year, I became the Social Secretary of Archery and in my final year, I was the President of Climbing.

I also volunteered and trained as an Operational First Aider with St John Ambulance, joining the Northampton Central Unit in my second year, providing medical coverage for many events ranging from Northampton Saints, the London Marathon and the Platinum Jubilee. I also worked and help run multiple vaccination centres with St John during the covid pandemic.

How did these extra-curricular activities enhance your career prospects?

Taking up leadership roles in UON sports clubs allowed me to gain and refine essential skills outside university, such as management and organisation, whilst also boosting my confidence. Joining St John Ambulance helped me immensely in gaining clinical experience, providing me with additional contacts and also training me to work professionally in a fast-paced and stressful environment. All these skills helped me during my interview stages by showing my competency and are skills I use today in my day-to-day role as a Critical Care Scientist.

How do you think your studies have helped your career or personal development?

My studies allowed me to gain the experience needed to work in a clinical environment and gave me opportunities that many other newly graduated students haven’t had. My studies have also allowed me to find a new interest in clinical sciences, which I previously didn’t have, and which contributed greatly to my decision to apply for the STP. The connections I have made from the Uni have also allowed me to look into the STP programme, which if I wouldn’t have met, would likely place me on a different career path.

Your Career

Describe your career progression so far, and any plans you have for the future. Are there any particular hurdles you may face?

I have successfully been accepted onto the STP programme in my chosen speciality, ‘Critical Care’ and started as a trainee scientist at the Royal Papworth, Cambridge. I have three years until I finish the programme, in which I will be registered with the HCPC as a Critical Care Scientist at Band 7. After my programme, I would like to apply for the HSTP which, after completion, would make me a consultant in critical care at Band 8/9, allowing me to manage and work at a higher competency within a Trust.

At the moment the biggest hurdle is trying to juggle working at the Royal Papworth full-time, whilst staying on top of the academic work which comes with the STP. With the nature of working in critical care full-time, another hurdle that I face is dealing with the risk of burnout, as I may be working long hours under stressful conditions.

Which, if any, skills and knowledge/understanding gained on your degree are most useful in your current role?

The most useful skill I acquired from my degree was from my research project – being used to the environment of a research group helped me to fit in and communicate with other academics that I’ve met during the STP. I was also able to conduct invasive procedures during my project, which is a skill I carry out daily in the hospital setting. Finally, I am comfortable working long hours in a clinical environment, independently, which I experienced in the lab during my research project.

Are you currently involved in any community or volunteering projects?

From my second year of university, I’ve been volunteering with St John Ambulance to provide medical support to communities and large events. I still volunteer with St John Ambulance to this day and continue to support and provide medical help at events in Northampton and around the country.

Your Advice

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

Embrace imposter syndrome! The career and course can get quite technical and demanding at times and those around you may seem to be doing better than you, or you may be given an opportunity which you don’t feel fit or qualified to carry out. But as long as you’re confident in doing the work, eventually you’ll open different doors in healthcare which you may not previously have considered.

Also, it’s not only about grades. In many interviews I’ve had, it was my projects, volunteer work and leadership roles which I discussed the most and were the driving factors for my successful outcome.

In ten words, or less how would you summarise your UON experience?

A unique route which provided me with a variety of opportunities.