I have always loved science, especially chemistry. I’ve always found working in a lab so exciting because you never know exactly what the outcome of your work will be.
This adds so much excitement and knowledge of problem solving, which you will carry with you throughout life and into future positions. Chemistry, along with having a great deal of theory alongside the practical element, has always had a huge amount of hands-on work involved, which I personally love getting involved with.
The staff at the University of Plymouth were very supportive throughout the four-year course I completed. During my third year and project, my supervisor,
Dr Hayley Manners, was very helpful and always had time for me and my questions.
I feel the staff at Plymouth really care about the students, they can see which students want to genuinely do well and try hard, and they will not hesitate to provide help if asked.
I have made some great friends along the way. I was very lucky to have a great year to start my chemistry degree with. We provided a great support system for each other and in turn enjoyed the whole degree.
I also have to say I enjoyed the
labs very much, especially during my dissertation years where we got to work independently and manage our time.
Plymouth has prepared me extremely well for the challenges I have had to face so far.
For example, the interview for my current position, I had to present for 15 minutes on a chemistry project of my choice.The University of Plymouth prepared me for this by constantly helping me gain social interaction skills along with presenting experience.
I used the University
library many times as a quiet place to complete coursework and my dissertation. This helped a lot when living in a noisy student house.
I also used the employability services where they asked me what area I would like to get into and really helped with interview skills. I found this service very helpful and they helped me think about how you want an employer to see you.
There is no one job associated with doing a chemistry degree, you are not ‘stuck’ in one specific area.
There are so many different aspects to the subject and university really opened my eyes to this throughout all the different practicals and lectures.
Seeing the passion, the lecturers had for chemistry really made me want to pursue a career in industry to start off my professional life.
But it also made me think about possibly going on to complete further education and completing a PhD to one day become a lecturer and help inspire others in the same way they inspired me.
The University itself is in such an ideal location.
Everything is within walking distance, and you don’t need a car at university (unless you want to pop to Cornwall which is also very close and idyllic). Also, the support given by lecturers was second to none in my opinion. The type of people who attended the university I found to also be very welcoming and kind. The whole experience really shaped me into who I am today. I would not have changed it for the world.
I have worked as an anti-doping scientist for a company called LGC for the past two and a half years since completing my degree.
I have absolutely loved my position analysing supplements for banned substances (such an anabolic steroids).
However, the position was based in Cambridge and due to a re-location I have now accepted a new position in Birmingham.
The most exciting thing that I have done in my career so far is working with many different types of instrumentation - most importantly HR-LCMS instruments known as ‘Orbitraps’.
These instruments can analyse data up to an accurate mass to four decimal places. They are extremely sensitive and produce lovely looking data. I have also worked on analysing horse feeds which came directly from the equestrian olympics, which was very exciting for the whole team!
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