Technician Stories

Abbie’s Story

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Abbie Sands

College/ School:

College of Science, National Centre for Food Manufacturing

Job title:

Laboratory Assistant

Photo or another suitable picture alongside:

Brief description of your role:

My role includes; cleaning and tidying the labs, for good work to be carried out a tidy space is needed, when the labs are tidy and organised it makes working much more efficient as materials are easy to locate. I work in the chemistry lab, micro lab, general lab and NPD kitchen/sensory suite. I work in a small team of 4 technicians and between us we maintain all the labs. As well as maintaining the labs I also help researchers with the practical side of their projects, I help them to carry out the analysis and get the results that they need to make the projects great. I have been out to farms to collect swab samples; I regularly prepare samples for analysis. I work closely with my team members as teamwork is so important when it comes to this role as there is always so much going on the labs are always busy. We set up practical’s for the students and liaise with the lecturers to ensure we have everything we need; I have done demonstrations for microbiology practical’s showing the different skills needed to carry out the practical efficiently. I also help with some external trials that we carry out here in our vase life room communicating with the director of the trial letting them know how the trial is getting on as well as communicating the end results.

How long have you been at the Institution:

1½ years

Journey to your role:

I have always had a keen interest in food, I was working at a local ice cream maker but I wanted a qualification. I started searching for apprenticeships and came across a food technology apprenticeship here! I had to jump at the opportunity and luckily it all worked out for me. I am now working towards getting my level 3 diploma and hope to further my education with the university. I started as an apprentice in October 2018, fast forward to April 2019 I applied for my current job role progressing in my career as well as my education.
Things to love about the role/ work: The fact that everyday is different excites me, I enjoy learning new skills and with this job role I feel that I am learning every day. The fact that the opportunities at the university are endless is great as well, there is never a boring day and I just generally enjoy what I do!
Advice to other technicians: Work as a team, although it may seem awkward asking for help it is always better than struggling on something on your own. That’s what your team members are for to help as are you to them. Also take every opportunity you can to progress yourself.

Interests outside work:

outside of work I enjoy spending time with my animals, family and friends as well as baking and cooking. I have also found a small passion for gardening during lockdown, not been much of a gardener before!

About the Author

Tom Reed

Computer Technician and Software Engineer for the School of Computer Science.

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