Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme
Mentored by Professor Alan Boyd
Tell us a bit about yourself, your mentorship and what you gained from taking part in the mentoring scheme.
My name is Shreyas, and I am a current final year medical student at the University! I intercalated in Pharmacology at King’s College London. After completing this degree, I became interested in a potential career in Pharmacology – specifically the process of drug development and regulation. I therefore applied to join the ALMP mentoring scheme under Professor Alan Boyd; a doctor who graduated from the University of Birmingham and then went on to work in the pharmaceutical industry. Since then, Professor Boyd has started his own consultancy firm that specialises in drug development and getting new medical technologies on the market!
I have really enjoyed my time being mentored by Professor Boyd. Through our regular meetings, I have been able to ask him all about life in the pharmaceutical industry, from the technical aspects of the job to how he keeps up with the latest medical developments to work-life balance within the industry. I have also been able to organise some work experience at Professor Boyd’s company, which I am looking forward to this summer!
Did you have any preconceptions about the mentoring experience that were challenged as a result of your experience?
I had never taken part in a mentoring programme before, so I was not entirely sure what the process would entail. However, during our first meet, Professor Boyd and I discussed what we each wanted to achieve from the mentoring programme. I was able to explain that my main goal was to learn more about a career in the pharmaceutical industry, and how I can incorporate my interests in medicine/surgery with my love for pharmacology. Through this discussion, we were able to tailor the focus of our meetings, and therefore I now have a much more in-depth understanding of the industry that I am keen to explore.
One piece of advice you learnt from your mentor you could share with other students/graduates?
Through this mentorship, I have learnt about making the most of any opportunities presented to you, and the importance of keeping an open mind when thinking about future prospects. It is important to experience all that you can in order to understand what you enjoy and what you do not. Through this experience, I have learnt a great deal about the medical and pharmaceutical industry, and I have been able to organise work experience at Professor Boyd’s company which will enable me to learn even more!
Can you share any top tips for making the most of the mentoring opportunity and how to be an effective mentee?
My main top tips would be to show enthusiasm and really think about what you want to achieve out of the programme. The mentors are all keen to guide and advise students, and have given up their own time to take part in this scheme. Use the opportunity to get your ‘foot in the door’ and take part in experiences that you may not have been able to otherwise.
Why would you recommend the scheme to other students?
The ALMP mentoring scheme is a great scheme that will really help you develop yourself and your future career. The mentorship can be used to create new opportunities, explore new areas of work and network with people in order to boost your future prospects. The mentors also have a wealth of life experience and will be able to give you practical advice as you transition from the world of academia to the world of work. I would wholeheartedly recommend everyone to apply to the ALMP mentoring scheme!