This week our very own Matt Helsby, development manager at CiteAb, is celebrating his 27th birthday. To celebrate we bring you ‘A Day in the Life of Matthew Helsby’ – for those of you who know Matt, well you know what to expect. For those who don’t, well be warned. This is not one of our more serious blogs!
Hi there Matt! Happy birthday. We have a few questions for you from our readers. First up, remind us how you came to work at CiteAb?
Hi! And thanks, I think! Well I graduated from the university of Edinburgh and I thought I better get a job – it seemed like the done thing. That and my mother informed me that playing video games wasn’t a viable career path.
I saw an advert and applied to work as a web producer for the CiteAb project, which at the time was still part of the University of Bath. It combined immunology (I wanted to use my degree in some way) and web development. And I got the job. Win!
How does a typical CiteAb day start for you?
A quick shower, and then blow-dry myself using a hairdryer – although if it’s warm I like to air dry. That wasn’t the answer you wanted? Ok, sorry. Sooo…
My journey to work involves walking through Victoria park. If it’s sunny I’ll often stop to have breakfast in the park and answer my first emails of the day.
Where do you spend your days?
In the CiteAb office which is right in the centre of Bath, UK. We share offices with the tech company Storm and because we ‘do science’ they call our office ‘the lab’. The city was first Roman, then the Georgian’s came and filled it with their architecture, so its pretty nice really. Our office is in a Georgian town house, with typically tall ceilings (nice) and huge windows that leak heat all winter (less nice). Its great though, in the summer you get to grab lunch and visit the Roman Baths or one of the parks.
What is a typical CiteAb day like?
Typically I start at 9am. Ok that isn’t quite true, I aim to start at 9am, but by the time I’ve made it through the park, had my breakfast and answered some emails I might be pushing 10am. I work through until around 11, when I pop upstairs for a quick game of ping pong against one of the guys from Storm, and make a cup of coffee. I develop stuff until midday (job title – development manager), then its lunch. I develop more stuff after lunch, and usually play some more ping pong too. Most days I’ll take a look out of the window around mid-afternoon and shake my hand threateningly at an unaware busker. Typically I stay quite late in the office, I am more of an evening person.
What do you love about CiteAb?
We’re a startup company, still very much in a growth phase so there’s a massive range of projects to get involved in. We also have a ping pong table – that’s pretty sweet!
What do you hate?!
How am I meant to answer this? I definitely hate losing at ping pong, but that doesn’t happen often. I can’t think of anything else. Can I do things I just hate generally? Outside CiteAb I really, really don’t like late trains.
Which Antibody supplier HQ would you most like to visit and why?
Well I love getting outdoors (apart from the time I had to face off a bear in Canada but that is a whole other story…) but I’d pretty much love to visit any supplier who had a HQ at the top of a piste. I don’t know whether any fill this criteria, but if they are reading this and they do, they should definitely get in touch. Otherwise I’d accept an invite to any supplier headquartered in California which has some amazing whitewater kayaking and climbing opportunities, that would be sweet.
What do you do when you’re not doing antibodies?
So I love outdoor sports, like kayaking (preferably on white water, waterfalls etc), climbing, skiing, walking. I also have a lovely girlfriend called Zoë who is a trainee doctor and has immense patience with me.
If you were going to be any one antibody for a day, which antibody would you be and why?
I’d definitely be a rabbit antibody because CiteAb has been giving them a really good rep recently and they seem to be doing well. I wouldn’t want to be a guinea pig antibody, have you seen those things? Creepy.