Graduate Focus: Elle Daley’s laboratory job

Elle Daley
Elle Daley

Elle graduated from Biosciences at University of Gloucestershire in the summer of 2013. She has recently started a job as a laboratory technician for Southern Microbiological Services in Somerset. Here, Elle explains what her new job involves and how her degree prepared her for this role:

While studying at the University of Gloucestershire I found microbiology and ecology to be the most interesting, and so when I began to look for a job they were my two ‘search words’. I appreciated that it would be very difficult to get the perfect job as a graduate but it didn’t stop me applying for positions requiring much more experience than I had. You never know, so it’s worth throwing your hat in the ring. After a few interviews I had one at SMS labs. In that interview, the director (now my boss) said I impressed her with my knowledge of microbial systems. I didn’t know that much about the specific techniques that the lab uses, but by remembering the terminology and broad practical skills I had learnt at university it was clear to her I had passion and strong basal knowledge to work from.

I am very interested in the work we do at the lab. We are approved by DEFRA and I prepare and record samples of water, air and soil. We also sample vast quantities of food and other materials for both large and small companies. My time studying at university gave me great all round knowledge and an interest in the entire field of biology. Entering SMS as a graduate with a wide knowledge of microbiology, the director of SMS labs is training me quickly as a laboratory technician in order to progress to the microbiology side of the company where the samples are tested for a huge range of pathogens.

I also still have a passion for birds and ecology, and am keeping my hand in by writing a publishable paper from my dissertation on the analysis of owl pellets on Skomer Island, with my supervisor, Dr Matt Wood. Hopefully I can keep myself on both sides of biology for a while longer! My degree has helped me in so many ways, from communication skills, to writing skills, to giving me drive. I hope this job will give me a good base to work from and ‘practical experience’, which is on every biology job advert.

We are always really interested to know what our graduates are doing, so please join our Biosciences at the University of Gloucestershire LinkedIn Group or email the course leader, Dr Anne Goodenough ( with any updates!


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