Alumni Profile: Mubeen Ashraf

Mubeen Ashraf (MSc Clinical Medicine, 2000) is a medical scientist turned secondary school teacher with a fascinating career path.

Mubeen reflects on her personal journey in work and life so far:

Mubeen Ashraf 2In year 2000 I matriculated at Oxford University as a postgraduate student of medical research at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. I had returned home to Oxford as a young medical research scientist in Professor Alain Townsend’s laboratory working on Hereditary Haemochromatosis. The Weatherall Institute in the presence of Professor Sir David Weatherall at the time, allowed me to expand my research skills, visiting and collaborating with international scientists and research teams.

Being a member of Green Templeton College was a highlight to my experience as a postgraduate at Oxford. The wonderful, homely welcome of the college premises and staff gave me a base at the university.

A highlight, which I fondly recall, was my first college dinner. I was nervous, but very much looking forward to socialising with colleagues, many of whom were medical students and of course other researchers. The Warden of Green College at the time, Sir John Hanson, immediately put me at ease with his glowing smile. He looked at me and respectfully asked me to take a seat by him. During dinner we spoke about his experiences travelling. He answered my questions affectionately, about his period as a senior diplomat in international affairs and cultural relations. He shared stories of his diplomatic appointments abroad including in India and Lebanon. His experiences taught me, how even after agreed divisions, friendships between colleagues remain and are essentially fostered. We shared a few jokes and he even read a Persian poem – of course successfully translating it!

After completing an Oxford Masters, I decided to work in industry as a Research and Development Scientist at Lonza Pharmaceuticals, where I also held the position of Analytical Scientist and Quality Control Scientist. Gaining a wealth of good laboratory practice (GLP), and good manufacturing practice (GMP) experience, I then relocated to Oxford working with Professor Geoff Hale at Oxford BioAnalab as an analytical scientist.

In 2008 I decided to complete a PGCE at Oxford University Department of Education at neighbouring Norham Gardens. My teaching experiences have been diverse and varied over the last 14 years. I taught initially in the comprehensive sector and held the position of Head of Chemistry at Oxford school working with a diverse local community. As a specialist tutor of science at the independent colleges: Oxford Tutorial college and Greene’s College, I worked with GCSE and A level students in Oxford. From 2012-13 as a family, we decided to live abroad and I taught as Head of Science with Abu Dhabi Education Council. On returning to Oxford, I took the opportunity of Science Lectureship at the Oxford College of Further Education with Aspire learning working with students from a diverse demographic of backgrounds and needs.

Then in 2018 I took the opportunity to work as Director of Studies at Cherwell College Oxford. Having held the position of Biology teacher at the all-boys schools: namely the comprehensive St Birinus School in Didcot and the Independent Magdalen College School in Oxford, I currently work at the girls Independent school, Rye St Antony School as Teacher of Chemistry and Outreach. Both my children are presently pursuing GCSE and A level studies at The Swan School in Oxford.

My time at GTC gave me confidence and insight, which have enabled me to pursue a working and home life with emotional agility and resilience. For this I will forever be thankful.