During my time at University, I discovered that the learning and problem-solving sides to my course were the parts that I enjoyed most, as opposed to conducting my own research. Accordingly, during my third year, I began looking for potential careers through the University Careers Service. I knew that I wanted to stay involved with Chemistry, using the skill-set I had been developing at University, and I also knew that I would enjoy a job that was challenging and varied. Thus, after reading around the subject, training to be a Patent Attorney sounded to me like the perfect career path.
My first interview was at Boult Wade Tennant. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, which was with two of the Partners with whom I would be working most closely. I knew immediately that I would like the atmosphere at the firm.
The work that I am involved with is extremely varied and stimulating; you constantly have to think outside the box. Not only do you have to be able to apply your technical knowledge, but you also have to work on the basis of your clients’ commercial interests. When working on the cases, there is a great balance between the amount of supervision and independence.
At this stage, the majority of my time involves working with clients and colleagues to formulate strong arguments and amend patent applications, in order to persuade Patent Examiners around the world that our clients’ applications are suitable for grant.
I am rapidly beginning to gain experience in almost all sides of the profession, including the drafting and prosecution of patent applications, despite having only been in the job for nine months. I am confident that I will continue to gain all of the experience that I may need in order to pass my finals in a few years’ time, and continue to receive support as my career develops.
I would say that enjoying a challenge is an attribute that all people in the profession possess. If I were to give any advice to someone applying for a job, it would be to show a keen interest in learning new things and applying your knowledge. A major part of the job involves writing clear, persuasive letters, and attention to detail is key. Therefore, making sure that your cover letter and CV are effective, consistent and have no mistakes is also very important.