All about me
In high school, I was… a bit of a nerd – I loved
chemistry and biology and was perhaps a little too obsessed with taking perfect
notes and having all my folders in order! But I guess when you love something you
want to do it well.
My first job was… a summer job when I was in university,
which involved driving around the Irish countryside in a camper van with a DJ,
holding discos in various venues. The best bit was driving the camper onto one
of the many stunning beaches of the west coast after the parties, and waking up
to the stunning sunrises.
When I very young I wanted to be… a ballerina, but as I grew up I really
wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. All I knew is that I loved science and asking
questions about the world. Ever since I was very small I used to stare at
animals a lot, which I think must have worried my parents a little! I used to
wonder about the tiny hearts that beat in the bodies of the small birds in my
back garden and how incredible it was that everything worked on such a small
scale - the movement of their eyes in their sockets, the way they pecked at
worms in the ground and took off into the sky - and I also wondered what they
were thinking when they looked around at me.
At university, I…really enjoyed studying
biochemistry because it allowed me to combine my two favorite subjects and
understand all the different functions of living things down to the smallest
scale - down to the elements and chemical equations that were involved. I also
sang in a band and spent a lot of time in County Clare, on the West Coast,
which is very beautiful and wild.
few years later I went back to school to get a Masters in Wild Animal Biology,
because I knew I wanted to understand the science of animals, particularly
tigers, which I am very passionate about.
And right now, I am a…science and wildlife presenter
with BBC [America] and I love it!
What I do
In a nutshell, I…get to find out the answers to all
the things I’m curious about and I get the chance to communicate my love of
science. I feel very lucky to be able to do so, especially when I get to meet
the incredible scientists who are working on projects that make a real
difference to our planet. To me they are real heroes.
When I tell people what I do, they
think it’s… quite
cool, because I get to travel the world and do some pretty exciting things.
The best part of my day is… when I meet a scientist who is doing something groundbreaking and exciting. It makes me want to go back to school and study what they are doing! There is nothing more wondrous and exciting than the world we live in and finding out about it is an endless adventure.
The worst part of my job is… that sometimes living out of a
suitcase for weeks on end can be a little bit tiring.
I got my job by… working very hard at my Masters degree so that I felt I was qualified to be a science presenter with BBC [America]. I was also at the right place at the right time as BBC [America] was beginning to audition for Bang Goes the
Theory just as I was finishing my exams.
My biggest career achievement so
far is… making a
success of a brand new science magazine show Bang Goes the Theory. We didn’t know how it would be received but
we trusted that if we presented science stories that excited us, it would
excite our viewers too.
My next career goal is… really just to continue doing
what I love and keep challenging and pushing myself so that I can be a better
science communicator. I spent last winter in the Russian Far East filming a
series on Siberian tigers and that was a dream come true so I do hope I get to
continue doing this job for many years to come!
And how you can do it, too
This job might be right for you
if… you love science and asking questions about the world, and if you want to be a part of inspiring people and young scientists of the future.
You might want to try something
else if… you
don’t like working long hours and having to think on your feet 24-7.
The one thing you need to do right
now is… try out
every subject and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s OK not to have
all the answers about your future, now is the time to be open to all options.
The most important thing is to do what you love, no matter what that is,
because it will turn a day job into a passion that you can’t wait to get out of
bed for. Anything is possible, but you do have to work hard to achieve your
When you’re thinking about
where you see yourself in the future, if there were no limitations, if anything
was possible. Write all those thoughts down, and what the dream job is, and
then you can begin to pick subjects that can get you there. But it’s okay if
you don’t know exactly what subjects you want to do, you can always shift and
change later on. I’m a firm believer that it is never too late - I did my
Masters 10 years after my undergraduate degree - you should never feel as if
anything is out of your reach at any point in your life.
My best advice for getting a job,
whatever that job is, is… to do your research. The internet has everything you need to get to
you there. Look up the things you like, find out what they are like through
blogs and websites. And don’t be afraid to contact people for advice and
guidance, it’s really helpful to meet people who are doing the job you like and
get their take on it. I have always found science presenters to be open to
sharing their experiences because they tend to be people are keen to inspire
You can watch Liz on BBC America’s
Bang Goes the Theory, which airs on
Tuesday nights at 9p.m.—check your local listings!
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