Graduate profile: Sam Marsden

Sam graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the School of Biosciences in 2008.

Describe a typical working day
I am currently Marketing Services Manager for a scientific consultancy company. Most days are different, but I guess my main roles are the scheduling, development, financial management and marketing of our conferences and events, market consultancy and training. This involves the development of partnerships with vendors and key opinion leaders in science, developing social media and marketing communications, and searching out and developing new business opportunities.

What do you most enjoy about your job?
Travel! Part of my job involves visiting clients and trade shows all over the world. I’ve been to places such as San Francisco, Singapore, Munich (always fun during Oktoberfest) and Rio De Janeiro.

How did your degree prepare you for the job you have now?
I work within the life sciences, so my degree gave me the baseline knowledge that I need to understand the research and development that I am exposed to every day. In some cases there is catching up to do, and one thing you realise on graduation is that you can’t possibly know all there is to know about biochemistry. But the degree gave me the skills I needed to develop my knowledge in areas I was less familiar with. In addition I think a bioscience degree makes you think in an analytical and logical way, which I have personally found very useful in business management.

How was the teaching?
To be honest, even whilst studying I always thought the teaching at Kent was excellent. But since graduating it’s so apparent to me when talking to other grads from other universities that the support I received at Kent from my department was above and beyond other universities. I always felt like an individual, and there was always support available for me from my tutor and module leaders.

Do you have any advice for students interested in your career path?
Be flexible, adaptable and willing to take any opportunity to learn new skills. Also get involved in other non-degree related activities like sports, clubs and societies. Science, like any other industry, is about people and relationships. Being personable, polite and friendly is just as important as your academic knowledge.