Case study

Teaching fellow in epidemiology — Andreea Cetateanu

After her Masters Andreea decided to pursue a PhD which later led to a job as a teaching fellow in epidemiology at Imperial College in the School of Public Health

How did you get your job?

I applied for the teaching fellow job while in the last year of my PhD at the University of East Anglia, through jobs.ac.uk.

Do not be afraid to ask around when you are stuck with a task or don't know what to do

What subject did your PhD cover?

My PhD explored the relationship between socio-economic status, different measurements of exposure to the food environment and diet and weight status in children in the UK.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

It is very relevant, both in terms of content and teaching experience.

I have been a module co-leader for two modules and I have been able to undertake teaching on research skills, epidemiology, qualitative methods and statistics due to the knowledge acquired during my PhD degree.

What are your main work activities?

As a course organiser and teaching fellow I help organise the course in multiple ways; I act as a point of contact for students regarding any academic issues, I do some teaching and I help to design the content of some modules.

Do you need to have specific knowledge?

It is helpful to have statistics knowledge, as this gives me the chance to take on teaching subjects that require this knowledge. While it is not compulsory, it is preferable.

Students learn statistics in R and STATA. I am currently training myself in STATA, so knowledge of the particular software is not compulsory as it can be learnt on the job.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

I have been able to take on more teaching responsibilities (as a result of which I will also complete a PG Cert in the coming year), and I have been able to network with researchers and maintain my research profile.

My career ambitions are to stay in academia and continue teaching but also undertake more research.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy constantly learning and developing as a professional, being able to convey knowledge to students and contributing to original research.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Juggling multiple tasks such as administration, organisation, teaching and research can be challenging at times.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

Do not be afraid to ask around when you are stuck with a task or don't know what to do. There are always experienced people around who have probably been through this before and can advise you; you can save a lot of time in this way.