By Natasha Thompson
I am Natasha, a Technician Scientist at Advent Bio services, reaching the end of my Level 5 apprenticeship with the University of Kent. In my spare time I enjoy music and going on long walks. Having a younger brother with a severe Haemophilia A, a rare blood condition, I aspire to improve the lives of others just like how my brother’s life was completely changed due to a breakthrough in a drug he now receives. That's why I achieved two A Levels and one BTEC at Sixth Form with the intention of gaining a bioscience degree in the future. By taking a BTEC I realised this environment of learning whilst working was very beneficial to me. Through the Gov.uk website, I immediately started searching for alternative opportunities to university which could provide me the opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours of a scientist.
Skipping-forward to 2023, I find myself working at Advent Bioservices’ Sawston facility in an effort to optimise and manufacture GMP cancer vaccines. Through the ATAC program, I have now almost completed my Level 5 apprenticeship with the University of Kent. This apprenticeship has allowed me to develop the skills and knowledge to work within the scientific industry whilst working towards a bioscience degree. I must say, that I have been told that I am a very shy and quiet person. It sometimes surprises me how much I have grown. Advent, in partnership with the University of Kent, has greatly improved my confidence by giving me opportunities to grow outside of my shell and to contribute in the making of therapeutic products. ATAC has reflected this by providing events and webinars to further my understanding of the therapeutic world as a whole. I feel very lucky to be working alongside such fantastic and hardworking teams. Their openness and flexibility is a warm-welcome to someone just starting their career.
Joining the ATAC apprenticeship program has given me the opportunity to gain the same qualifications of those studying at university with the added benefits of getting paid, owing no debts and learning from the experts. Once my degree is completed, I am going to continue my improving patient lives at Advent Bioservices and start a Level 6 Bioscience apprenticeship to further my career as a scientist.