Using research skills to revolutionise petcare
Biosciences graduate Alysia Hunt tells us how her degree helped prepare her for work as a Research Scientist at MARS Petcare UK.
I didn’t just gain the intellectual knowledge, I also developed a lot of general skills that have given me the confidence and expertise that are integral to my role.
I’m a Research Scientist in the Behaviour Capability team at MARS. I develop novel ways of measuring feeding performance, which is testing how much cats and dogs like particular foods.
Combining a love for animals with a career
When I was at school I always wanted to work within the veterinary profession but during my undergraduate degree and master’s at Bath, I saw the potential and excitement of getting involved in research.
Working for MARS Petcare UK enables me to combine my love for animals with the research side that I enjoy so much. I like knowing that I am part of a bigger picture; being involved in fundamental research and developing methods which will benefit the future of MARS. Much of our research on animal welfare and nutrition is published as well, so that all pets can benefit from what we learn.
I also really enjoy being part of a team of people who are just as passionate about pet care as I am. And of course, having cats and dogs on site is a pretty big bonus!
A varied working day
I don’t think there is a ‘typical’ day as a Research Scientist. Every day is different and presents new challenges which is what I love about the role. No matter what I have planned for the day, I have to ensure that I am able to act quickly if any issues arise with a trial.
Day-to-day tasks range from working hands on with animals on trials to presenting briefings and results to the cat or dog unit staff. I also spend time planning upcoming trials and attend meetings to work on improving quality across the site.
Taking steps in the right direction
I would definitely recommend taking a master’s course at Bath. Along with being such a great place to study, the university also has fantastic sports facilities which make the experience even more enjoyable. I played rugby for the first time and am now a member of a local team and play regularly every week. The teamwork mentality I developed doing this is now key in my career.
Even though the subject area of my master’s and the job I do now are very different, the skills I learnt during my degree definitely come into use now. I didn’t just gain the intellectual knowledge, I also developed a lot of general skills that have given me the confidence and expertise that are integral to my role.