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Student story

Shiwen (Vicky) Zhang

20 July 2023

"Biochemistry is the fundamental science for new drug discovery..."


Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biochemistry

Business Technology Analyst, Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland

Originally from Shandong in China, Vicky is now a Business Technology Analyst at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh, after completing studies in Biochemistry at UC and Managerial Economics in London.

Vicky’s first role after graduating from UC was in Wellington, as a Biochemist at Arotec Diagnostics, providing expertise on developing new products for the health industry (such as diagnostic kits for disease detection), assessing market needs and the technical testing process.

"I consider this job as the first successful step of my career plan by involving myself in the 'real world' science industry," she says. "My responsibilities included production output trend analysis, critical thinking in R&D, preparation of data for marketing, and quality management. This professional position effectively trained me as a key and productive team member with the ability to adapt in a busy and demanding environment."

Having always enjoyed learning about cells and genetics, studying Biochemistry gave Vicky the opportunity to learn how species ‘function and thrive’ and be a part of vital medicine development.

"Biochemistry is the fundamental science for new drug discovery. Many scientists have put their whole lives into research and discovery to save millions of people from disease and help society to live longer and healthier. I feel honoured and proud that I can be one of them and contribute to this great mission."

She chose to study science at UC because she was attracted to Christchurch city and the ‘peaceful and enjoyable’ study atmosphere here. Vicky also came to enjoy the variety of opportunities for student activities, one of which was completing research with the Biochemistry department through a UC Summer Scholarship.

"The team was the best!" she says. "I was also a Student Mentor, Tutor, and Lab Assistant when I was at uni. It was such a great experience and I made many friends and enjoyed my life. I highly suggest to experience more and never limit yourself."

As such, Vicky plans to continue to help bring these products into reality.

"I embrace all the challenges and uncertainties in my life and the world. Technology and science is constantly changing our lives. I hope to become a business development director within the biotechnology industry in the emerging market, with exceptional insight and skills that allow me to transition between government, industries, and academic life with ease."

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