Like many students coming to the end of their time at university, the biggest question that I was yet to answer was what to do next? Having already spent an extra four years at university dabbling at being a researcher during my PhD, I knew my time in academia was coming to an end. Fortunately, after frantically browsing careers websites and filtering through the finance and computer programming roles, I stumbled across the role of a patent attorney.
I’m not sure what it was that initially grabbed my attention, whether it was the fact that I would be using my scientific knowledge in my day to day job, or the new challenge of venturing into law, however, the more I researched the career the more I knew it was for me.
I started at GJE in September 2014 as a Technical Assistant within the Engineering and IT department. I was drawn by the fact GJE is a top tier firm with a well-established history of over 100 years. Each year GJE employs a handful of Technical Assistants, looking to learn the necessary skills and gain the required qualifications to start their career as a successful patent attorney. This means that GJE has a fantastic support network in place that allows the less experienced members of the team to be able to draw on the experiences of those who have already undertaken the challenging training programme.
At GJE there really is no time to get bored. Among others, one of the great things I enjoy about my role is the variety of work. In any typical day I could be reading about telecoms one minute, and the next minute working on a patent for subsea drilling equipment. My practice group has a particular focus on start-ups and small clients, so I have had the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of interesting inventors on a number of new and exciting technologies. The direct client contact that I have been exposed to has given me the opportunity to gain an insight into both the clients’ technology and their commercial focus, whilst allowing me to watch them grow. This experience has been a fundamental part of my training, which I was fortunate enough to get access to so early on in my career.
Two years into my career and I know I have found the answer to the question I was pondering for so long.