Biomedical Sciences

Jelena Sassmann, Global Therapy Area Training Manager

Jelena shares what she has enjoyed most about the programme and some of the challenges she encountered, as well as why she chose Edinburgh and how the programme has impacted her career.

Jelena Sassmann


What is your current role?

I work in the pharmaceutical industry as a Global Therapy Area Training Manager – so I am responsible for designing and executing training curricula for scientific personnel worldwide.

Why did you choose Edinburgh?

I chose Edinburgh as it had the perfect programme. I wanted to focus solely on oncology and this was the best programme with the most useful content for my personal interests.

Favourite course?

The course that I’ve enjoyed the most is Tumour Host Interactions. Not only is it interesting but the course is well designed with creative learning solutions and dynamic assignments.

What are your classmates like?

The classmates on the programme are super multi-cultural and from difference backgrounds, such as clinical, research and pharma. You interact with your classmates and the teaching staff through things like discussion boards, Microsoft Teams channels, and live check-in sessions.

What impact has the programme had on your career?

The programme has had an extremely positive impact on my career so far. I work for oncology brands and I am now better able to understand the background mechanisms for so many cancer phenomena, and feel much better equipped to teach these to colleagues.  

Biggest takeaway from the programme?

My biggest take away from the programme is that we have come a long way in our understanding of cancer biology, but there are still hundreds of unanswered questions.

Biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge of studying online has been continuously finding the strength to sit down to study/work again after a typical 8-9 hour work day. Working full-time and studying can at times be mentally and physically exhausting. It is crucial to plan your time and schedule breaks for physical activity and time to just mentally disconnect from everything for a while.

Top tip for new students?

My biggest tip would be to engage with materials as much as possible, don't be passive - take notes, quiz yourself with active recall questions, summarise a lecture in 1-2 minutes and record yourself doing it, etc.