Sara Stone RSciTech, Laboratory Technician

Registration level: RSciTech

Job title:  Laboratory Technician

Professional Body: RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry)

Scientist type: Technician Scientist

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"I was awarded my RSciTech accreditation in January 2021 which I am extremely proud of. It has massively boosted my confidence."

Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?

After finishing my A-levels I knew that I wanted a career within a science discipline, but I also knew that university wasn’t really for me. Therefore, an apprenticeship was the perfect route for me to take. It meant I could get my foot in the door in my chosen industry, continue with my education and gain more qualifications, all while earning money.

How did your apprenticeship impact your career path?

My 2 year apprenticeship consisted of 3 placements in different areas of the business: Materials Characterisation, Conventional Materials and Radiochemistry and Dosimetry. The variety of placements meant that I was able to develop my knowledge, learn many different skills, and gain an understanding of multiple areas across the business. I was then able to choose my favourite placement, which interested me the most and I am now working in a full time role there. My career plan has always been to obtain a degree, preferably in chemistry, and I now have the option to do this.

What skills or experiences did you value most from working as an apprentice?

Being an apprentice meant that I was learning practical skills as well as the theory behind it. This meant that I could have a valuable input into the work I was doing alongside colleagues, and I felt like I was a valued member of the team no matter what I was working on. It also gave me a better understanding and created new interest in new topics.

What would you say to young scientists who are currently in, or thinking about starting an apprenticeship?

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anybody! A well-established apprenticeship can be just as good as a degree. They are widely recognised by employers and can provide you with valuable hands on experience as well as a great education. It is great way to get your foot in the door and begin your career in science.

How has Professional Registration with the Science Council made an impact on your work or career?

I was awarded my RSciTech accreditation in January 2021 which I am extremely proud of.

It massively boosted my confidence as it meant that I received recognition for meeting a required standard and I proved to myself that I could do it. It has also made me even more motivated to continue with further education and progress in my career.

 What do you value most from being a member of your professional body?

Being a member of a professional body means that I have access to a variety of resources that are great for a number of reasons. For example, there are lots of lectures and events that means I can keep up to date with what is going on throughout the industry. There is also lots of news and literature that I can use to develop my knowledge and continuing to progress with my professional development.