My journey to becoming a Trainee Patent Attorney:
As a child I always loved science (or at least what I understood science to be back then) and I always wanted to go further than what the curriculum taught (I was that annoying student who always asked questions). This led to me pursuing a degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Liverpool and I was fascinated by all aspects of my degree from virus replication, to cancer genetics and biophysics – I found the whole course incredible. I decided that loving my subject so much, it seemed like a sensible idea to embark upon a PhD. However, I quickly realised that I didn’t find lab work very fulfilling and I missed the variety that my undergraduate degree had provided. In January 2017, I attended a careers talk where I saw a presentation given by a Patent Attorney. I was immediately captivated by what sounded like the perfect career for me in that it would allow me to combine my technical background in molecular biology with my other interests in science communication, writing and managing client relations. I decided to find out if this was indeed my dream career come true and so I secured some work experience with a local patent firm. This confirmed that this was the perfect career for me and so I decided to leave my PhD and write up the data I had collected for a Masters degree, at the same time as applying for trainee positions.
Applying to Appleyard Lees:
I applied to three firms, but the job at Appleyard Lees was the one I wanted most. I had read a lot about them on their website and reading so many positive interviews with current trainees on the IP Careers website made me want to work for Appleyard Lees even more. I found the interview process very enjoyable and again, this further solidified my desire to work for Appleyard Lees. My first interview comprised of a spelling and grammar test, a technical interview (which was related to my subject area) and a more general CV based interview. I felt my interviewers put me at ease and that they were trying to get the best out of me, which was in stark contrast to an interview that I’d had at a different firm where I felt like I was being interrogated. Everyone I met at both stages of the interview process was incredibly friendly and I felt that the office had a very welcoming, supportive atmosphere. Appleyard Lees are also unique in that they invite candidates back for a day work experience in the office following the first interview where you get to work on a real case.
I was thrilled to be invited back to the second stage and after a nail biting weekend of waiting, I was offered the job. Despite the offices being spread across four cities in the UK, I feel that I have been welcomed into a family. Every day presents new challenges and the opportunity to learn something new and solve problems in interesting ways. Whether this is new scientific or technical knowledge, a new skill or a new rule or article, I find that every day, my brain is in constant use from 9am until I turn off my computer around 5pm. I have only been with the firm for about a month (at the time of writing) and I am excited about my future with Appleyard Lees.