How the St Cross Careers Programme Helped an Alumna

gabriela belsley careers programme

St Cross alumna Gabriela Belsley (Biomedical Imaging, 2017) was a first year DPhil student when she met Moss Zhao (DPhil in Engineering Science, 2014). They soon bonded over a shared interest in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and they quickly became good friends.

“During the first years of my DPhil, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations I had with Moss as he was finishing his PhD and writing up his thesis,” Gabriela remembers. 

After he graduated, Moss became a researcher at Stanford University as well as a St Cross alumni mentor, enabling him to help many students, particularly Gabriela. As well as his “contagious enthusiasm and positivity,” Gabriela also greatly appreciated the support that Moss gave her as she began making plans for her career post graduation.  

“I am very grateful to Moss for connecting and introducing me to distinguished researchers from both academia and industry with whom I had the opportunity to discuss my career options,” Gabriela said.  

“Moss always gave me excellent advice, encouraging me to not be too narrow in my job search and to trust that the skills I had acquired during my PhD would be attractive for both academia and industry.” 

As Gabriela sought to launch her career, buoyed by Moss’s support, she applied for various roles in academia and industry. After several rounds of interviews, she was offered seven jobs that she felt were appealing options. Faced with the daunting task of determining which position would best suit her interests, she visited several of the institutions and discussed the roles with their researchers, which was an invaluable step in narrowing down her options. 

Fortuitously, as Gabriela was trying to make her decision, Moss was attending the 45th European Society of Neuroradiology Annual Meeting in her home country, Portugal. They met up and, after fondly reminiscing about their “wonderful time” at St Cross College, they discussed Gabriela’s options. Moss listened intently as Gabriela explained how she was navigating the process of selecting a job offer to accept, and he offered insight from his own career in academia. 

After carefully considering how to pursue her scientific interests, Gabriela decided to embark on a career in industry, and she accepted an offer to become an MRI Application Developer at German medical device enterprise Siemens Healthineers.

St Cross College has a vibrant alumni community of over 4,000 alumni around the world in more than 100 countries. Whether you are still identifying areas that might be of interest to you, or if you already have a particular career path in mind, your fellow St Crossers are here to assist you in your career journey. We have a number of alumni volunteers in a wide range of professional fields happy to support you and answer your questions. For more information, please visit our careers page.