Lorraine Mhoswa (35) is a molecular science intern at SciCorp Laboratories in Pietermaritzburg. As a young scientist she believes that young South Africans should “step up and take up space”.
Mhoswa loves science and in her current role she does a number of science experiments that help farmers and other people in agriculture solve problems.
She is highly qualified with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in horticulture and a Master of Science in plant breeding from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Mhoswa will soon finish her doctorate in genetics with the University of Pretoria.
“I have quite a diverse background in many branches of agriculture and its interesting, because I get to learn a lot and have a broad knowledge about agriculture,” she says.
Her advice to high school learners is, “follow your passion and do something that you really love, because once you do that you will do it to your full capacity. Be true to yourself, step up and take up the space; make an impact and leave a footprint”.
If this career or field of study interests you, simply follow the advice below to find out more and about getting involved. Also check out the other careers to choose from in the agri sector on Food for Mzansi.
Okay, now it’s over to Lorraine Mhoswa, molecular scientist intern at SciCorp Laboratories:
1Could you sum up your job for us? I do science experiments to come up with results that will be used for decision making and solving problems that farmers and other people in the agriculture industry will be facing.
2So, what does the day-to-day of your job entail? I am involved in the hands-on day to day running of the lab doing DNA isolation from different plants or crops. Another part of the job is polymerase chain reactions (PCR) experiments. This means making DNA into millions of copies and processing samples. I also do research work on new projects.
What qualification do you need for this career? I have Bachelor of Science Honours degree in horticulture and a Master’s degree in plant breeding from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Currently I am winding up my doctorate in genetics from the University of Pretoria. I have quite a diverse background in many branches of agriculture and its quite interesting because you get to learn a lot and have a broad knowledge about agriculture.
4What are the character traits you need to be great at your job? We learn every day so I would say one should be eager and willing to learn so that you will be able to add knowledge to your skills. You need good interpersonal and communicating skills and to be a resilient and innovative thinker. You must be honest; we are humans and we all make mistakes so don’t try to cover up your mistakes. Admit and learn not to repeat them.
5What subjects do I need to become a molecular scientist intern?Biology, mathematics and science.
6What do you love about agriculture as a space to work in? As we all know the human population is growing exponentially, and this means more food is needed. One of the biggest problems today is knowing how we will feed these people. A huge part of the agricultural sector is devoted to solving this problem, and me being part of it makes me feel proud to just know that to some extent I will be making an impact to people’s lives and making history.
7Don’t be modest, tell us about your proudest career moments. I am not yet there but I feel like I am just a step away from attaining my PhD in genetics. This has been the greatest achievement in my life. It’s not a walk in the park or a bed of roses but with a lot of hard work and perseverance ‘its almost done. I can pat myself on the shoulder and wear a big smile.
8What do you do when you’re not at work? I am more of an indoor person, so I spend most of my time watching TV. I love watching sports like rugby, cricket, basketball and netball. I also like to spend time with my family and reading novels.
9Any advice for young people who are inspired by your career story here on AgriSETA Learner Connect? Follow your passion. Do something that you really love, because once you do that you will do it to your full capacity. Be true to yourself. Step up and take up the space; make an impact and leave a footprint.
10Where can I study to become a molecular scientist? Universities with natural and agricultural sciences departments.
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