Sachin Patel: BSc Sports & Exercise Science 2014-17; MRes Research, Sport & Exercise 2017-18; Clinical Research Technician, Queen Anne Street Medical Centre
“Prior to moving to Winchester for University, I hadn’t heard of the city and felt very anxious about whether I was going to settle in. Reminiscing now seven years on, it was the best move I could have made. Going to such a small university made it very personalised. It really feels like home – everyone knows everyone. I was able to build friendships that last a lifetime and I still go back to Winchester to visit my university friends who live around the area.”
Sachin Patel has gone from developing his own research at Winchester to working as a Clinical Research Technician. After graduating with a BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Science degree in 2017, Sachin stayed at Winchester and went on to study an MRes in Research for Sport and Exercise, focusing on Clinical Exercise Research for Stroke and Cardiac Patients. Since then, he has worked for Blue Crest Health and currently works at Queen Anne Street Medical Centre.
“I currently work as a Clinical Research Technician in the Heart and Lung Centre Clinical Trials Unit at Queen Anne Street Medical Centre, coordinating Phase I-IV asthma and COPD trials on a daily basis as well as performing lung function testing.
“My role is very multidisciplinary in the sense that I am involved in the patient’s journey right from the start. I see patients regularly on a daily basis performing full lung function tests and assist in the laboratory work by processing and analysing biological samples. I’m also part of the patient recruitment process to find patients suitable to take part in the trials. I have been working here since December 2019 and working in person non-stop throughout the pandemic. I’m really grateful for this as I’ve been around an incredibly supportive team, in what has been a difficult year for everyone”
“Before this role I was working for Blue Crest Health, a private health testing company who provides affordable and convenient health assessments in mobile clinics across the UK. I provided comprehensive health assessments for customers who were interested in taking control of their health. My work also included providing these health assessments within a corporate environment, as part of a benefits package through Vitality Insurance. I would hold clinics in hotel conference rooms and corporate offices, setting up my own equipment, often seeing an average of twenty patients a day.”
“It was a lot of moving about and driving. One day I could be in Southampton and the next in Croydon. I really enjoyed this. It wasn’t a standard job, but it helped me communicate and talk professionally. Managing my own clinic meant I had to think on my feet and problem solve; this took a lot of energy but I enjoyed every aspect. I was worried I wouldn’t find work after university, but I found this job within a month of completing my Masters.”
Sachin credits both his undergrad and postgrad studies for teaching him the skills he needed to work in the medical field and discusses how the practical elements of his undergraduate degree were the most beneficial.
“My undergrad course was very broad. It allowed me to discover what I wanted to do. You learn physiology and biomechanics with cutting-edge technology on the course. Learning all these skills helped me to do what I needed to do – it’s a very hands-on degree.”
“You wouldn’t find that in a generic science degree. You gain a practical understanding. We learnt skills through doing rather than reading. It helped me to learn a lot and in better ways.”
“During my Masters degree, which focused on Clinical Exercise Research for Stroke and Cardiac Patients, I was able to tailor it to what I wanted to research so it felt very personalised.“
“I studied my Masters at Winchester because I was allowed to focus on the clinical side and explore that with my research. This has helped me to find work that is tailored towards what I want to do. Also, having studied my undergrad at Winchester, the alumni discount was nice!”
“I worked at Royal Hampshire County Hospital during the summer before my Masters. My lecturer guided me in my research and gave me this contact. I was there for eight months doing cardiac research, and this opened my eyes to working in the NHS.”
Sachin works in London and lived there prior to studying at Winchester. Despite this being a big change from home, studying in a smaller city helped him to feel welcome and make friends.
“Prior to moving to Winchester for university, I hadn’t heard of the city and felt very anxious about whether I was going to settle in. Reminiscing now seven years on, it was the best move I could have made. Going to such a small university made it very personalised. It really feels like home – everyone knows everyone. I was able to build friendships that last a lifetime and I still go back to Winchester to visit my university friends who live around the area.”
Sachin was a member of two sports societies while studying at Winchester. This was a fun way for him to spend time with his course mates outside of his degree. He also adds how other outside opportunities were equally important to him, such as taking part in a research apprenticeship and working for the University’s Careers Service.
“I played Tennis and Cricket during university as I loved both those sports growing up and I played with a lot of people who did the same degree as me.”
“I took part in plenty of other opportunities. During my undergrad I did a research apprenticeship in second year which gave me a head start in my dissertation. I also did a BUPA work seed – I was asked by my lecturers to help with health testing and that was really interesting spending the whole day doing weight, BMI and blood testing. I’m really surprised to remember that and reflect on my university opportunities as this relates a lot to what I do now.”
“In terms of opportunities during my Masters, I worked for the Careers Service for six weeks and this helped me to have paid worked and gave me a break from studying which was great.”
This eclectic mix of opportunities throughout his undergraduate and Masters degrees were a big part of Sachin’s Winchester experience. However, he’ll never forget the times spent in first year, meeting new friends and moving into halls.
“My best memory is starting university and meeting my new friends in St Elizabeth’s. There were fifty of us living in the same area. I was never bored there because there was always something going on; I was quiet before going to university but living with lots of people gave me the chance to open up a bit more.”
“I’m still close friends with thirty of those people now. Because it was catered accommodation, you’d get your meals together in a big group of friends and get to know each other.”
Sachin is happy in his current role as a Clinical Research Technician. However, he has plans to move from the private sector to the NHS.
“I’m completing a respiratory physiology course at the end of this year which is paid for by my current company. Going from the private sector to the NHS will open up a lot more opportunities and help me progress further down a specific career path moving forward.”
Having been a Winchester graduate for the last three years, Sachin knows what opportunities can arise within and outside of university life and so has some insightful advice for students at different stages of their university experience.
“While you’re at university, take every opportunity you can because no one knows what they want to do all the time. It’s about developing skills; that’s the necessary thing. Experiment without any judgement socially and academically because you’re in a safe bubble to do so.”
“After university no one is fully prepared but there are steps you can take to make sure it is less nerve wrecking – discuss your choices with family and friends and get the right contacts if you want a specific job, especially if you studied a broad course like mine.”Back to alumni