Student Placement - Roche

Angus Jennings - Roche

Educational background (university & course) 

Mathematics at the University of Manchester (I had completed second year at the time of starting my placement)

Reason for undertaking a placement year (why medical statistics and why Roche) 

My reasons for taking on a year placement were fairly clear; I can now graduate with a year's worth of experience under my belt! This is super helpful for any future positions I want to go for. It  also allows me to get a good idea of what industry is like and if it is for me. Medical Statistics had always been an interest of mine, (possibly because I’m too squeamish to be a doctor but have a real passion for the healthcare industry) so when I saw a placement opportunity open at Roche it was a no-brainer.


High-level description of work undertaken on placement year 

The range of opportunities given to me over this year have been endless. At no point did I get the feeling that an opportunity was not available to me, due to being a placement student - everyone is eager to help you learn and develop in any way. The vast majority of my year was spent supporting a Study Statistician role for a molecule to treat IBD, rapidly taking on more responsibility for the tasks I was assigned as the year progressed. I even got the chance to travel to Vienna to visit the ECCO conference. I also helped in many other teams throughout the company; from Flu to Alzheimers, to (most excitingly) helping out the team working on a COVID-19 treatment in my last few months. I was also able to get a range of academic and industrial experience, being involved in the production/review of different publications being worked on during my time.

Non-project opportunities during placement 

My non-project opportunities were even broader than the study-related ones! To kick off the year, I got the opportunity to take part in a charity abseil down the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower in Stratford, which was equal parts exciting and terrifying. Inside the office, I was involved in a group that organised quarterly internal conferences, highlighting some of the amazing work being done throughout the company, whilst getting a brilliant chance to develop my skills organising and hosting large meetings. I also helped out at many other internal charity events, worked on a PSI podcast and traveled to several university careers fairs.

Would you recommend taking a placement year and why?

Without a doubt! This year has been an amazing experience for me to grow academically and personally, gaining confidence hosting meetings, managing workloads and building a network. I also have a really good insight into my options for my next steps, with exposure to work across industry and academia. I think an industrial placement is an invaluable experience for both those who are certain of what they want to do and those who are completely lost on their career path - everyone has something to gain


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