Skip to main content

Meet the Apprentices

Laboratory Scientist Apprentices

Meet Will, one of our Laboratory Scientist apprentices

Click below to hear about Will’s experiences of apprentice life and why he chose an apprenticeship at AstraZeneca.

Will is studying for a BSc (Hons) Laboratory Science degree.

Read about Angela, another one of our Laboratory Scientist apprentices

My name is Angela and I am an apprentice working in the Cell Culture and Fermentation Sciences (CCFS) team in AstraZeneca, located at Granta Park, Cambridge. I am currently in my 3rd year of this placement and I’m studying a level 5 degree Apprenticeship with the University of Kent in Applied Bioscience. So far, over the 3 years of my Apprenticeship, I’ve had rotational placements in each of the CCFS subteams, learning new skills and providing support for the development of new medicines.

What is my job role?

The role of CCFS is to take candidate molecules isolated by the Research function and develop them further for evaluation in the clinic and onward manufacturing. This process involves applying knowledge and training in molecular biology, cell biology, cell culture and chemical engineering. I’ve been able to supply genetic material, support with process optimisation and development as well as work with large scale systems such as bioreactors. Alongside this I designate 20% of my time to learning about the science, completing course works and assignments.

What current projects do you work on?

As I’m in the final year of this placement, I am required to carry out a project. Traditionally this would be an experiment in the laboratory. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions on traveling and living in London, we’ve had to come up with an alternative way to fulfil the requirements of the project that could be achieved without being in the laboratory.

Therefore the team identified a project that could be worked on remotely from home.  The chosen project focusses on data management and data integrity. Effective data management is important to CCFS and AstraZeneca and well defined systems need to be in place ensuring traceability, secure storage and  lifecycle management. In addition there are increasing regulatory expectations concerning good management of data and they expect companies to have appropriate policies in place.

What are some advantages for working for a multinational biopharmaceutical company?

There are so many areas and people you can learn from. Moving between departments, the focus of the work and techniques used can be different. Each team applies diverse methods, to tackle the challenges that are present. This variation has been really great for my learning. It has provided opportunities to build on problem solving and adaptability skills. In some cases, I’ve developed transferable skills that can be applied in different departments.

How has the apprenticeship been so far?

I have really enjoyed working at AstraZeneca and have appreciated their values, guidance and support. I have learnt to follow the science, to be attentive to the changes which take place within this industry. It has really been amazing to watch my colleagues put patients first, by meeting our targets despite the effects of the pandemic. I have had opportunities to be creative and even competitive, ensuring that the right things are in place for the organisation as a whole.

We’ll keep you up-to-date

Sign up to be the first to receive job updates.

Interested InSearch for a category and select one from the list of suggestions. Search for a location and select one from the list of suggestions. Finally, click “Add” to create your job alert.

Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.