A pending PhD-grad student’s perspective on MedComms in NZ

Jessica Millar, one of the Associate Medical Writers at Kainic Medical Communications reflects on here new working life in MedComms.

As I finally saunter out of bed after snoozing four alarms I leisurely make my bacon and eggs for breakfast, put the kettle on and sit down to read the news, or in today’s case, the MedComms Day site. This is my first ever MedComms Day! I realise my morning sounds unlike everyone else’s crazy work-filled day. We’re relatively easy going here in chilly Dunedin and as I rock up to the office around 9am I am pleased that the heat pump is on, I have an electric blanket and a cup of tea, and I can sit down and listen to Blair deliver his morning briefing.

I’ve had plenty to do lately, which is a marvellous distraction as I am currently in the dreaded, seemingly endless black hole between handing in my thesis and waiting for my examiners to agree on when would be a good time to grill me on all my apparent knowledge. I’m super lucky I got this job. I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to be an academic so doing a PhD certainly wasn’t a waste of time per se, but it definitely taught me how not to live my life if I want to be happy and (relatively) sane. In my little academic hovel I didn’t even know what MedComms really was until I stumbled across Kainic. Blair was silly enough to employ me toward the end of writing my thesis so I probably made quite the crazy impression, but I’m still currently employed so it can’t have been that bad.

I was so used to 5AM starts and 8PM finishes during the testing phase of my PhD that now that I’m in my real, grown-up job, I seriously appreciate 9AM starts and whatever-time-I-want finishes. I have weekends, I have free-time, I get to learn something new almost every day. Plus, I get to keep on studying, because I’m a forever-student. Below is a picture of me ‘working/learning’ at home, with a blanket and the fire going and one of my dogs pleading for a cuddle.

So far post-PhD life isn’t traumatic at all. It’s actually quite lovely.

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