BSc Biomedicine - Jenna Helleur

Jenna Helleur studied BSc Biomedicine at UEA before a Masters and PhD. We found out how she found her love of research and has used it to build a career in data analytics.

How did you find studying biomedicine at UEA?

I absolutely loved it. The best thing about it the calibre of teaching material from the lectures.

The lecturers were extremely knowledgeable, and they were really good at relaying their knowledge to us as students. They were always happy to answer questions or arrange follow-up sessions if anything needed further explanation.

I think the overall course content and modules were fantastic.

Was there any particular module, course or lecture which inspired you?

I enjoyed a lot of the modules. I particularly enjoyed human physiology and in third year chose cancer biology and cell signalling.

Cancer biology was great and the lecturers were really engaging.

How have the skills and knowledge you gained from your course helped you in your career?

In my third year, I started a research project. Working in the real science labs on a real project gave me the chance to find out whether research might be an option for me.

I really enjoyed getting my teeth into that.

I went on to do a Master's in molecular medicine straight after Biomedicine. Doing that research project certainly helped me to make that decision and gave me a lot of the skills and knowledge I needed.

I really enjoyed doing my own research. You’re finding new data and new results that might not have been discovered or published before.

How did UEA help you to build your professional network?

I felt that there was lots of support for those wanting to do projects or placements.

There's loads of clubs and societies, so there's always an opportunity to network. There are also job opportunities on campus.

I worked as a student ambassador and worked in the Students’ Union reception, which was a fantastic way to get to know everyone, understand the campus, the people and the opportunities.

How did you prepare for your career?

The career service at UEA assisted me in writing my application for my Masters to make sure it was tailored to show all my strengths.

After my Master's, I took a gap year. I worked for Norfolk Constabulary for a year, during which time I wrote my PhD applications.

I think a lot of the skills that I've learned in my biomedicine course have really helped me. There are lots of presentations to do, as well as communicating with others and team projects.

What did you go on to do after your PhD?

I'm a research data analyst at the Engineering Physical Research Sciences Council (EPSRC).

In my PhD I enjoyed interpreting data, analyzing it, drawing graphs, conclusions and statistics. That made me realise I wanted to go into data analysis and interpreting. Luckily I was successful in getting this job. 

If I hadn't done a PhD, I don't believe I would be here or even realise that I would enjoy being a data analyst. It was a great help in steering me in the right direction for my future career.

What does your work as a data analyst involve?

EPSRC fund engineering research supervisors and research across the UK.

The researchers tell us the type of outcomes they get from their research - how many publications have they published in a year, talks they have given, conferences, patents, Intellectual Property, spin-out companies, awards they have won.

We want to capture all the outcomes of the research that we fund so that we can understand how funds should be distributed in future. 


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