Shamini Thiagarajan

Shamini Thiagarajan, Biotechnology and enterprise

Sharmini works within the biopharmia industry and was recently promoted to Business Development Manager.

I completed my under graduation in Industrial Biotechnology from India and wanted to understand the commercial side of the life sciences industry. Exeter offered a very unique Masters course - Biotechnology and Enterprise which seemed like a tailor made course for me.

Ranked in the top 10 Universities to study in the UK with a very good geographic location, Exeter was irresistible as my first choice of study. The reputation of the life sciences department, beautiful campus and a very active student union was more than inviting to want to apply to this top class university.

A very friendly campus and meeting students from all over the world was definitely the most enjoyable part of my experience at Exeter.

The abundant library resources and easy access to course materials aided the overall study experience.

Yes, I did use the Careers Service and was a big help to structure my CV and approach the right employers.

As an international student, it took me a while to get my first full time job. The wait was worth it as I started my career doing exactly what I intended to do.

I started as a Life Sciences Analyst in a market research firm in York and soon got promoted to a Business Development Manager in the same company. My technical knowledge in the industry and the management subjects in my Masters degree helped me ease into my role and soon become an expert.

The industry I work in is very niche and the role requires someone with a sound scientific knowledge with a good commercial acumen. The course at Exeter (Biotechnology and Enterprise) aimed to equip the student with the knowledge of commercially driven research in the biopharma industry. The current role I work in utilizes this knowledge in creating reports and providing market intelligence consultancy to executives in the industry.

My job involves a lot of analysis of pharma and biotech deals and feeding information into a database based on therapy and technology areas. Understanding the financials and strategy behind the deals with a keen attention to scientific detail is what interests me with the role.

I am also involved in compiling reports focussed on specific technology and therapy areas. My clients are usually senior level managers and executives in the industry. Pitching the products to these clients is probably the most enjoyable part of my job. It keeps me connected with my field and also gives an immense sense of satisfaction to be able to speak with the top industry experts.

It has provided me with a unique combination of science with business skills. The course provides a flexibility to either pursue a technical career or enter the business side of the industry.

The business modules I chose helped me gain insight and apply to my current role. I have an edge over many other science graduates that I owe to the uniqueness in my course at Exeter.

Exeter offers very good study resources and an excellent staff support. My advice for students would be to make the best use of them and channel them towards their goals.

I wish to take my experience forward and add skills to excel in the field.