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Charlotte Goldsmith

Sculpture outside Centre for Innovation

Photo of Charlotte GoldsmithCharlotte Goldsmith

"After completing my Honours Degree, majoring in Genetics, I began working as a Customer Service Consultant for Pfizer Animal Genetics, a branch of Pfizer which provides genetic testing for sheep and cattle. In this role I deal with customer enquiries regarding our DNA testing on a daily basis. The communication skills I learned throughout the course of my genetics degree, especially in the final two years as I moved through the honours course, have been paramount in dealing with those clients whose genetics knowledge can be very basic."

"My day to day routine, in short, is to log samples submitted by farmers and then report the results back, following testing at the lab. In addition to this I provide support to farmers who are making breeding and selection decisions by explaining the meaning of their results and answering any further questions they may have, mainly over the phone."

"I also plan and attend a number of events, out of the office, to maintain a face to face relationship with our clients. These trips out of the office and dealing face to face with clients interested in genetics are the highlight of my job. New Zealand farmers are innovators and it is interesting to hear the ways they are implementing genetics on their farm to increase production – for me it really bridges the gap between what I learnt in a classroom and how to integrate it into real life."

"Recently my responsibilities have extended to performing the analysis for our parentage product which is used to assign new animals parents through DNA and Management Information. This analysis can be quite complex and requires a good grasp of population genetics to understand the results and how best to manipulate the data to give the most accurate result, skills I learned through my Population Genetics papers at Otago."

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Otago both in and out of the classroom and found all the Genetics papers have been of some help in my current position with Pfizer, from dealing with technical questions behind testing, right through to inheritance patterns and explaining these aspects to an individual in a manner that is easily understandable."