The varied range of modules on offer at De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science BSc has helped one graduate secure their dream job in regulatory affairs.
Inspired by her family members working in science and healthcare, Praise Ncube tailored her studies so she could pursue a career in pharmaceutical chemistry and help people achieve healthier lives.
However, A-level results day threatened to de-rail those dreams when Praise didn’t get into her first-choice university. Thankfully, she had done her homework and had DMU as a backup, believing that the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science course offered her great insight into the industry through the extensive range of modules on offer.
Students on the course explore microbiology, biochemistry, quality by design principles, pharmacology, and quality assurance alongside other modules. There is also the option to pursue an industrial placement after their second year.
Praise has now secured a job in her dream industry, joining the ranks at Alliance Pharmaceuticals Limited in Chippenham as the company’s new regulatory affairs assistant.
Working within the business’ Healthcare department, her role concerns the safety, quality and efficacy of the organisation’s product range, where she typically reviews and amends technical files, dossiers, product information files and artwork per the relevant international legislation.
Praise said: “The regulatory affairs discipline was introduced to me at DMU, and particularly resonated with me during my second year of studies. I loved the idea of being able to combine science with the law to help keep people safe. It made me think that I could make a difference to people, so I looked into ways of pursuing it as a career.
“It’s not necessarily a customer-facing role but you’re responsible for the information that is offered to not only patients but also healthcare practitioners and the general public.
“I believe that it was the multi-faceted nature of my course that helped me to stand out when I was applying for industrial roles. I say this because the pharmaceutical industry is so broad as a whole, so to have gained technical skills across a multitude of disciplines - not to mention in focus areas like Quality by Design – would have been very impressive to employers.
“DMU’s Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science course offers a depth of knowledge that other healthcare courses may not.
“Looking back, I don’t remember seeing a course that combined pharmacy and cosmetics the way that DMU does. It’s such a useful and interesting mix that I just instantly fell in love with.”
Praise kickstarted her career by securing a sought-after graduate role as a Technologist at Catalent Pharma Solutions, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the UK.
With her final term in university fast approaching and knowing that she needed more industry experience to pursue a career in Regulatory Affairs, Praise started exploring jobs in product development and found the role at the pharmaceutical giant by chance on LinkedIn.
She took just one interview to impress the selection panel with her industry knowledge and secured the role that would take her 175 miles from her home in Sheffield to Swindon, all just one week after her final university exam.
It was a leap of faith but one that would ultimately pay off.
Specialising in the process development and the scale-up and commercialisation of lyophilised oral dosage forms, Praise was promoted to Technologist II before quickly securing her job at Alliance.
Praise said: “I loved the practical elements of my course and was craving a role that would allow me to be hands-on in the same way that I had been at university. New product development was the perfect starting point for my career and I knew having the opportunity to work with a renowned company like Catalent would be fantastic for my development. It also presented great networking exposure.
“In my second year of university, I interviewed with Pfizer for a few Regulatory Affairs positions. Speaking to DMU’s Employability team for interview prep helped settle some nerves. They spoke to me about the style of questions that would come up.
“Unfortunately, I was not successful in my pursuit for an internship following the assessment centres, however, speaking to the team at DMU is something I would recommend all graduates do.
“The following year I was able to apply that interview practise towards my interview with Catalent. I think they could see that I was passionate about the industry and through my DMU course, I was able to demonstrate technical knowledge across a lot of different disciplines. Maybe my slight South Yorkshire accent helped a little too!
“After the interview, everything moved very quickly. It was just two weeks later when I heard I had secured the role and they were asking when I could start. With the UK having just entered lockdown at the time, I didn’t think this opportunity would come up again, so I said I could start a week after my last exam.
“I thought let’s see where this takes me, so I packed my stuff and headed on to Swindon. I’ve been here for almost two years, so it can’t be too bad.
Posted on Friday 14th January 2022