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My old man’s a biomedical scientist: Dustman bins his old career, passes medicine course at City and Islington

PUBLISHED: 11:48 10 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:47 11 August 2016

Bradley Moon outside City and Islington College on Blackstock Rd N4

Bradley Moon outside City and Islington College on Blackstock Rd N4

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Most people looking to work in the field of biomedical sciences follow the same career path.

Bin man turned biomedical scientist Bradley Moon with his lorry Bin man turned biomedical scientist Bradley Moon with his lorry

GCSEs to A-Levels to undergraduate degree to graduate job. Perhaps there’ll be a gap year or two thrown in, but that’s usually as exciting as it gets. One thing most biomedical scientists’ careers definitely don’t include is stints as a bin man or HGV driver.

But City and Islington college student Bradley Moon isn’t like most people.

Bradley’s the first to admit school wasn’t really for him the first time around. He left at the age of 16 with few qualifications and went to work as a refuse collector, before moving onto becoming a lorry driver, jobs he found “mind-numbing and low skilled”.

“I ended up really not liking it, and couldn’t even get promoted within the company due to my GCSE grades,” says Bradley.

Bin man turned biomedical scientist Bradley Moon with his lorry Bin man turned biomedical scientist Bradley Moon with his lorry

“I’d always wanted to be a doctor, and for months and months one of the guys I worked with had been on at me to do something about it, so much so that he took me on a tour of Cambridge!”

It was this tour that inspired Bradley to give his dream a go. He eventually enrolled on a City and Islington college pre-access course and, despite finding it hard going, passed with an A in English and a B in maths, also obtaining an adult learners’ award for all his hard work.

This led him to an access to biomedical sciences course at the college, and a decision that would define his future. Still working as a lorry driver, Bradley was struggling to juggle the two things, sometimes staying up 24 hours straight to fit everything in.

“I found if I worked three days a week and did three days at college I could just about, to the penny, afford it.” But his decision was justified a few months later. Bradley finished his course with nine merits and 30 distinctions, and offers to study biomedical science degrees followed from two unis. He’s taken up the offer from Westminster, and starts a four-year course next month.

“I’ve got no regrets,” he tells the Gazette. “I don’t think I’d have had as much determination to succeed if I hadn’t done it the way I had.”

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