Marko Victor's first job as a microbiologist was working as a quality assurance manager at a water bottling company in Franschhoek while completing his MSc in microbiology at Stellenbosch University (SU).
Today he works as a microbiologist in the quality assurance department of DGB (Pty) Ltd, one of South Africa's largest wine and spirit producers and distributors. He agreed to answer a few questions about his studies and subsequent career:
Why and when did you decide to study for a BSc-degree?
I decided to study BSc during my last year at high school. My interest was far more in the direction of the natural sciences than in any other field of study. I also knew that there was quite a large scope within the greater field of natural sciences as my interest might change and become more specific.
What are your qualifications thus far?
I completed my MSc in microbiology in March 2011. I would like to further my studies in business management as I believe it would further advance my skills on my current career path.
What was your first job and how did you get it?
I worked part-time as the quality assurance manager at a water bottling company in Franschhoek during my MSc studies. The company contacted the Department of Microbiology for possible candidates and I applied. The rest is history.
What is your current employment? Please describe a typical day in your life.
I am employed as the microbiologist working in the quality assurance department of DGB (Pty) Ltd, one of the largest wine and spirit producers and distributers in South Africa. A typical day is fast-paced and I interact with employees of all sectors in the company.
What is exciting about your work? What is really challenging?
Any career requires some level of repetitive behaviour, but I am fortunate to have a position where no two days are the same. The challenging but also exciting part of my work is staying up to date and ahead with quality improvements in the Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry.
Your advice to learners considering a career in science?
Go for it! You will never look back. It might be hard sometimes, but in the end it is worth the effort. A qualification in science is never wasted and even if you someday do not pursue a career in science, you will still be able to apply the knowledge in a different work situation.
Tips for students entering the job market?
Remember that you are building a career. If you can find the "ideal" job first time round, then it is great. If not, don't worry. The first step is to get your foot into the job market and to build experience from day one. Over time you become more specialised and you might even spot an opportunity in the market and start your own business.
What would you have done differently during your years at university?
I would have participated in more campus activities offered by the university and maybe a short course here and there.
Anything else you would like to add?
Yes, I would like to state that one should always try and find the balance in life. Work hard, but never forget to have fun.
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