Dessislava V.

PhD Student at University of Oxford
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Dessislava V.
Bioarchaeology, Bioinformatics, Antibiotic Resistance
Taught Postgraduate

My employment

PhD Student at University of Oxford
University of Oxford
United Kingdom

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A day in the life of a PhD Student at University of Oxford in the United Kingdom

Ph.D. is a marathon, not a sprint so sometimes we get results quickly, some weeks it is about tweaking code and fixing grammar.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I am a final year PhD student at the University of Oxford.

What do you do?

I analyze antibiotic resistance in the UK, Campylobacter Jejuni samples using Data Science, Bioinformatics, Statistics and machine learning to find patterns in resistance and to also predict future outcomes. I have also co-founded a science communication platform called "Chicken Journal Club":, where we invite speakers from all over the world to talk to us about their research and about their paper that we all get to read beforehand. We have done over 25 sessions and currently creating some workshops on programming and data visualisation which I am really excited about!

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

After my undergraduate, I went to study Bioinformatics and Systems Biology as a masters in the University of Manchester and this led me to think that I want to continue to analyze big data and to expand my skills in multiple coding languages and to learn how to organize a big project on my own.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes, it is different. I knew that I wanted to learn how to analyze big data and choosing to do my masters opened up a lot of opportunities in front of me.

Describe your most memorable day at work

I loved presenting my work in an international conference in Belfast! It was such a wonderful experience to be surrounded with incredible researchers and discuss newest techniques and findings together.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Ph.D. is a marathon, not a sprint so sometimes we get results quickly, some weeks it is about tweaking code and fixing grammar. However, I quite like that I get to plan my days, weeks, months and set goals that are achievable but also going to opportunities that give me a chance to network and find new collaborations.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I was the dance squad captain in Dance society, I used to compete in Dancesport society and was a social secretary planning educational trips for Archaeology society.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I would like to move on to Data Science, Data visualisation and machine learning jobs. I also love science communication and presenting to the audience so it will be great to be able to implement these big data skills with international companies.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

One of the biggest advice is to enjoy the current moment, try to volunteer, try to join a society, try to be in some committee roles, and use the career service well! I went to my career service from the beginning of my undergraduate and I loved the whole process of thinking about different job markets, sectors and doing internships in holidays really helped me to open up what I want to do and what I do not want to do. Study hard but also find some time to go to Yorkshire Dales, go to Whitby, and try to enjoy your friendships well as well.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Happy to help with masters, Ph.D. applications, internships, mental wellbeing in University as an international student, culture shock, how to shift your career to the direction you want to take etc...

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I was born in Bulgaria but I grew up in Japan where I used to be in Japanese local school. Thus I started studying English when I was 16, so I am happy to talk to anybody who feels like maybe they are not ready and what you can do in Japan or in your country to boost your English and find ways to apply to York as well.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Dessislava’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Dessislava a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Dessislava to be your mentor.

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