Where are you now?
I work at FRKelly a firm of European Patent and Trademark Attorneys as a Patent Associate. I am located in our Belfast office just down the road from Queens on Mount Charles; however I also regularly travel down to our head office in Dublin.
A typical day for me can involve any number of tasks, from meeting with inventors to discuss their new innovations, drafting a patent application for a new product, prosecuting patent applications before the UK Intellectual Property Office or the European Patent office or pursuing business development opportunities. The role of a Patent attorney is very varied as I am constantly working with a variety of companies and third level institutions on a wide range of technology covering inventions relating to relatively simple mechanical inventions to very high tech electrical ones. Due to the variation it is a very challenging but rewarding career as no two days are ever the same.
How did you get there?
Towards the end of my engineering degree I realised that I didn’t wish to pursue a traditional engineering career as it just didn’t really appeal to me, I enjoyed learning the theory but the more practical aspects didn’t interest me. I was therefore of the mind-set that I would pursue an “exciting” career in finance when, during my industrial project, we received a lecture from a Patent Attorney. It was a career previously unknown to me however it immediately appealed, as it was a career what would allow me to utilise the skills I had developed during my degree whilst working in an entirely new field.
Advice for current Queen's students
Make the most of University while you can, the time really does fly by! Try and get an idea of the career you wish to pursue after university so that you can tailor your time at university towards that. If possible try and squeeze inter-railing in at least one summer during university, silly things you learn whilst travelling can be of great benefit at a later date.