Anisa Jeetoo (Biostatistical programming, Amgen)
I am currently working as a Biostatistical Programming placement student at Amgen, which is a biotechnology company that develops drugs. I am part of a study team working with clinical trial data for patients with Post-menopausal Osteoporosis.
On a day-to-day basis I use SAS to write programs which output tables, figures and listings. I am really enjoying my placement as I am able to work with real patient data and the work I do within the team is extremely important and is used by Statisticians and Medical Writers to interpret and report clinical trial findings; which is very satisfying.
As well as the work I do in the study team, I have taken on other responsibilities such as being a member of the team-building committee for a three-day conference which will be held next year. The variety of tasks I am able to do makes my placement all the more enjoyable.
An example of one of the tasks I have done is chairing and presenting alongside the other placements students at the Monthly IB&P (International Biostatistics and Programming) Christmas meeting. The IB&P meeting held at Christmas time is the 'fun' one which the students host. We organised regular meetings to come up with an agenda and we decided to create a quiz. Being able to chair and present at the IB&P meeting was a great experience.
Why should you do a placement?
Having a placement is a great opportunity to meet new people and experience working life. The training I have had so far has been fantastic and wouldn't have been possible if I wasn't on placement. You also get to time to think about where you want your career to go and if your placement is in the industry which satisfies you the most.
Any tips on applying for a placements/ performing at interviews?
Start looking into placements early on in the term, as some industries advertise early on. Tailor your CV and cover letter to that particular industry and role, this shows your interest in that industry. Always research into the company as it will come across very well if you are called in for an interview. Finally if you haven't been successful the first time, don't give up; there are lots of placements available.