1. Why did you pick your profession?
I liked microbiology and wanted a job that had something to do with it. I'm a microbiologist by the way.
2. What do you do in your job?
I study new products and establish the protocols required to grow any possible microbiological contamination from the product.
3. Please explain the biology of your job.
I find and grow microorganisms.
4. What's the hardest thing about your job?
Learning how to neutralize different types of preservatives and combination of compounds that inhibit the growth of microorganisms even though they may not necessarily kill them.
5. What's at least one interesting story about your job/something interesting that occurred during your job?
The purpose of my job is to make sure I find no growth of microorganisms from our products when we make them. So, most of the time, my job is to find nothing and to prove that nothing is present in our drugs. (Wouldn't want medicine to make us sick in the end, do we?
) The only time when something interesting happens is when I find a weird bug (or microorganism) that shouldn't be there. Then I get to run an investigation to identify it and find ways to eradicate it should it be a recurring problem.
6. How do you use what you learned in high school biology in your job?
Everything. I have to be able to understand how different environmental conditions affect the growth of my microorganisms. I have to be able to know how long it takes to grow, how it grows, what kind of different medium would work best with each type of bacteria or fungi.
7. What do you do to keep up with new biology research/ do you need to?
I read forums, browse through journals for new articles, and occasionally write up summaries of topics of interests.
8. Has anything changed in the biology relevant to your field since you started your job?
Microbiology hardly changes in that the techniques involved have always been the same: you need to grow microorganisms in order to study them. Otherwise, the refining of these techniques to study the microorganisms are what changed. How we manipulate the organisms and how we identify them. Many quicker or rapid methods have been developed such that it takes us a much shorter time to perform identification tests.
9. What did you need to study in school to prepare you for your job?
Lots of biology and chemistry. And statistics. A lot of microbiology is about statistics.
10. Any other interesting facts or comments you would like to add about your job??
I like being able to work for 5 minutes a day to do my work. Most of my time is spent on preparing the work and the reports for it. Microbiology on its own takes up the least amount of time to work on but the waiting period is long (it takes 18-48 hours to wait for different types of microorganisms to grow, and some fussy ones can take up to 7 days to grow.) Microbiology is a waiting game but it's a definite science. What you see is what you get, and microbiology is such a colourful science. Microorganisms are living things, and like people, are so different in the way they behave and respond to the environment you put them in. They're very interesting to observe.