STP interviews | Preparation

I cannot stress enough how important preparation for these interviews is. Everyone talks about how competitive the STP is, so if you want to be in with a chance of getting one of those coveted places, then preparation is key. The National School has some pretty good resources that cover the format of the STP interviews, but I know what you really want to know is “what the hell are they gonna ask me?!”. And I bet your google searches are coming up blank- I know this because I was there 2 years ago; frantically scanning the internet to find any hint or example of the questions I might face in any of the 4 stations. Well, I’ve heard that the questions asked at the interviews are pretty similar year on year so specifics are kept notoriously hush hush. I’m sorry to tell you that I’m not about to change that. Mostly because 50% of the interview is specialism specific so I wouldn’t even have a clue for anything other than bioinformatics. But – before you stop reading and vow never to visit this blog again – what I will do is give you some tips on what I think are the best ways to prepare for each station that I hope will help.

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Top tips for applying to the Genomic Counselling STP

Since the first established Master’s Programme in the UK in 1992, there has been a growing demand for Genetic Counsellors and a growing recognition of the role of genetics in health. To address this, in 2016 the NHS developed the Science Training programme (STP) in Genomic Counselling in partnership with the University of Manchester. When I was looking into applying in that first year of the programme, I found a lot of things were a big unknown in terms of what specifically was required to have a good chance of getting an interview. I couldn’t find many people talking about their experience of applying without reading lengths of conversation on the Student Room.

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Can we make science more approachable?

Think of the following scenario. You are in the pub, having a drink and meet some new people. The first thing they ask is, “So, what do you do?”. What do you reply to this? How do you put words together that would make sense to the person in front of you?  I usually have a mild panic trying to assess the level of biological understanding of the person in front of me and lead with “I am training to be a clinical scientist, at the genetics laboratory in our hospital”.   I then wait to see if they ask follow-up questions or are just satisfied with moving on to pub talk.

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CSO conference at a glance

Hello and welcome back to the 3rd post in our healthcare science week series! As I’m sure many of you know, it was the Chief Scientific Officer’s 2019 conference last week. Unfortunately, no one at STP perspectives was able to attend. However, we’ve been lucky enough to receive some feedback about the conference from someone who not only attended, but took part in a panel session as well. This piece, written by Ang Davies, a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director at the University of Manchester, gives an overview of some of the themes of the conference as well as some really valuable learning points that she took away- that I think as trainees we should pay particular attention to!

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STP Electives | Frankie

One of the best parts of my STP experience so far has been my elective, it’s a great way of getting away from the work you do every day and gaining new perspectives on healthcare science. My elective ended up being a series of small things rather than a big 4 to 6-week elective, mostly because of time constraints (N.B. getting married during the STP is STRESSFUL) but also because the larger placement that I wanted to do fell through.

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