Zuleikha Mulla currently works as a research healthcare professional but her career had not always centred around clinical research.
I was unsure regarding my career prospects during my college years, I had excelled in English and Maths but I was also very passionate about Science. My career aspirations jumped from law to economics to dentistry, I therefore had great difficulty in deciding regarding what career path I wanted to pursue.
I co-incidentally stumbled across a BSc degree in Radiotherapy and Oncology. I had actually not heard of this career before. This entails the study of cancer and working with state-of-the-art equipment & high energy x-rays to treat cancer cells. The oncology aspect especially caught my eye.
I came across clinical research whilst working in radiotherapy. As radiotherapy always thrives off clinical trials, I became more familiar over the years with current research studies, especially studies that were centred around radiotherapy, this sparked an interest to develop my career in research.
After having graduated in BSc Radiotherapy & Oncology, I had worked as a radiotherapist for a couple of years. I was able to specialise in cancer treatments and was also promoted quite early on to work on a senior level.
I started to request gaining work experience in local clinical research departments. I completed online courses in my spare time and started applying for clinical research roles.
On a whim, I was advised by one of my colleagues to try applying for a research ‘nurse’ role, although I had no nursing history, much to my surprise both myself and the interview panel found my skills to be very transferable. I have been working in this role for over a year now and I have found this role to be a lot more diverse than what I had anticipated.
Working as a research professional has allowed me to branch out my experience, I am able to cover a wider range of research studies in oncology which includes chemotherapy and immunotherapy studies.
My day to day role entails working with Multi-disciplinary groups, coordinating treatment schedules, communicating with external clients and utilising both organisation and computer literacy skills.
My experience has brought to light that there are many hidden roles in healthcare that AHP’s probably think they aren’t suitable to work in, however there’s scope for AHP’s to be able to utilise their current skills as well as gain new ones in a completely different setting.