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Q&A with both Marco - Research Associate, Custom solutions and Lucia Crippa - Research at Abcam

  Q&A with both  Marco - Research Associate, Custom solutions  and Lucia Crippa - Research  at Abcam


Want to work somewhere different? We all have clear goals to reach at Abcam, and we’re encouraged to be original in how we get there. No matter your role, be it a Credit Controller or a Lab Technician, we know that tried-and-tested doesn’t always mean best. Dare to be different, dare to be ambitious, and you’ll help us change the game in our industry.
  • Author Company: Abcam
  • Author Name: Rachel Russell
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Editor: PharmiWeb Editor Last Updated: 22-Dec-2020

Q&A with Marco - Research Associate, Custom solutions

• Tell us a little bit about your self, role exp.
I graduated with a MSc in Biotechnology last year in Italy, and I came in the UK to learn and develop new skills. In January I applied for a position as Research associate in the Custom solution department. I started working at Abcam in March. Now I am leaving the company because I decided to do a PhD. The expertise and knowledge I gained during my period at Abcam will be of great value for me and, after the PhD, I will consider coming back to this exciting and rewarding working place.

• What initially attracted you to Abcam?
A friend that is working at Abcam referred me for a position in the custom solution department. What attracted me most about this position was the opportunity to learn and develop new skills in a challenging and fast-paced environment. I also used Abcam products before, so I was aware of the company reputation. Surfing the web, I find out that Abcam was awarder as one of the best working place in the UK, beside companies like Facebook and Google. That really attracted me and I have to say that my expectation about the working environment were met. The building is awesome and I really enjoy the fact that on each floor there is a kitchenette area with free coffee, drinks and fruit.

• How did you find the hiring process? What would you think is the most important thing a prospective candidate should (or might want to know) know?
I found the interview quite challenging, but I enjoyed how it was structured. After the interview, during which I was asked some technical question related to the position, I had a coffee with the whole team. I enjoyed talking with them, because I had the chance to understand better what the environment and the people are like in Custom solutions and Abcam in general. I guess that the most important thing to know is that the interview can be technical but all the details about it and its structure were shared with me via email after the first telephone interview.

• What have you enjoyed about working at Abcam?
I enjoyed the fact that is a dynamic and fast-paced environment. Even though I was hired during the covid pandemic, the team figured out ways to enable me to learn and develop new skills. I had the chance to learn a lot and I appreciate the fact that the managers are supportive and keep you motivated. My manager helped me to set a personal development plan and supported me also in my choice of pursuing a PhD. Moreover, I also appreciate the agility by which the management reacted to the covid pandemic, making everyone feel safe at Discovery drive.

• How has Abcam enabled you to develop?
My manager helped me to set a personal development plan, that was focused on my aims and goals. Other than that, on the technical part, I was trained in different techniques, and I also had the chance to shadow other people in stuff I was interested in. My personal development was supported by my manager and reviewed monthly.

• What have the Challenges been?
One of the biggest challenges was working and being trained during the pandemic. Onboarding procedures were more complicated than usual because of the rules on social distancing and lab capacity, but with on-line meetings and support during the experiments via Skype, I was able to perform and learn everything I needed.

• How would you describe the working culture?
I would describe the working culture as motivating, engaging and rewarding.

Q&A with Lucia Crippa - Research Associate, Custom Manufacturing 

• Tell us a little bit about yourself, role exp:
I am Lucia Crippa and I work as a Research Associate in the Custom Solutions team. I graduated in Milan (Italy) in October 2019 with a MSc in Industrial Biotechnology, after that I moved to Cambridge and I joined Abcam in November 2019 as a Product Administrator in the PDI department. As my ambition is to be a scientist and I enjoy lab life, I joined the Assay team in CSD in January 2020. I am now leaving Abcam because I won a PhD position and I am moving back to Milan to start a project in cancer research.

• What initially attracted you to Abcam?
I have a MSc in Industrial Biotechnology and once graduated in October 2019 my aim was to gain experience in the industrial environment. I knew that Abcam is one of the best biotech company in Cambridge and that’s why I applied for a job position here. After one year I can say that at Abcam I found exactly what I was looking for, and even more. I developed laboratory skills, facing different techniques and technologies. I trained my communication and organisation skills. I grew both personally and professionally taking inspiration from my colleagues and managers.

• How did you find the hiring process?

What would you think is the most important thing a prospective candidate should (or might want to know) know? I first started in the PDI team, with a short-term contract. Then, I internally applied for my current role in Custom Solutions. My overall recruiting experience is positive: I had an interview with my current line manager and then she organised a team meeting. The atmosphere was warm and relaxed: everyone seemed interested in hearing about my previous experiences and I had also the opportunity to ask questions about the team and about the members’ background.

• What have you enjoyed about working at Abcam?
Atmosphere and working environment: The building is really nice, bright and there is everything you need during a working day. What I enjoy most is the drinks bar! I also enjoy the fact that the sustainable travel to work is supported: I usually cycle, and I appreciate the presence of the drying room, spacious change rooms and bathrooms. I also took advantage of the Dr Bike service. Spending time in our headquarters is exciting: before Covid pandemic a lot of events were organised: spanning from socials to scientific talks. You can deepen your knowledge and develop soft skills. Now I can see the efforts in moving everything to virtual, even the yoga classes, in order to keep the environment always stimulating! Speaking about labs: I work mainly in the molecular biology lab and I find it well organised, tidy and with cutting-edge technologies available to use. The collaboration with the other teams works well, creating a positive and supportive work environment.

• How has Abcam enabled you to develop?
During my year at Abcam I always been supported by my line manager. Besides being supported in the technical aspects of my work, she helped me in planning my personal development. She encouraged me to deepen and expand my knowledge and interests. New assays development, scientific reports and presentations allowed me to learn more and train my scientific thinking. The talented members of my team really inspired me and my decision to peruse a PhD is also driven by the challenging and motivating experience I had here at Abcam.

• What have the Challenges been?
In this 2020 the biggest challenge is the pandemic as it affects various aspects of our everyday life, including work. Abcam demonstrated to be able to respond quickly, providing a safe and well organised environment. Lab based people, like me, were among the first to be back to our headquaters after the lockdown and the impressive work done in the building made me feel safe: face masks, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes available at the desk, one way system and social distanced seats in meeting rooms and at Molly’s. I have always felt that Abcam really cares about its employees.

• How would you describe the working culture?
Fast paced and dynamic.