Tom Wassell with bike

"I wanted to do a course which would give me a wide range of career options when I graduated as I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do at that point. To be honest, it’s only really been over the past few years after university, through working in a large variety of areas that I really understood what I wanted to do. Now I am working as a Process Technician for a company that uses bioremediation to degrade oil washings from tankers and oil spills, etc, into freely dischargeable water and am thoroughly enjoying it. 

Being a relatively small company, my role is very wide ranging. I act as process documentation controller/creator, train others how to operate the analytical systems, advise, help run the bioreactor and other units and have been fitting out labs being built overseas. This means I also get the opportunity to travel with my work: I have just returned from Gibraltar, am off to Oman next and then the Netherlands.

Coming to Plymouth was definitely worth the three years hard work. One of the best things about the course was that it was challenging the entire way through. This may seem like a drain but it actually set me up for the real world really well. Whilst working at Wrigleys, for example, I could be punching out reports on products twice daily at some points.

My course gave me some very good background knowledge, not only in document and report creation/control but in the little things you just wouldn't know if you didn't study the course. For example, we test for total organic content of the waste water. If we used certain plastic bottles for sample collection we could see plasticisers leeching into the sample and affecting the results."