Alumni profiles - Victoria Holme

Biomedical Materials Science (2005)

Safety, Health, Environment and Risk (SHEAR) Management Systems Advisor for Saint-Gobain Gyproc

Passing my degree made me realise that I can achieve as long as I'm prepared to work hard and my experiences at university have helped me to adapt to my current role"

What are your career experiences since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I worked as an orthotic technician from graduation until 2007, making orthotic devices (e.g. insoles, splints, back and neck braces etc) for the NHS. In February 2007 I completed the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health which enabled me to obtain my current position at Saint-Gobain Gyproc. I now advise and assist our sites around the world on the companies Safety, Health, Environment and Risk management systems.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

Working with health and safety advisors from around the world to develop and improve company standards and our overall health and safety performance.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?

Making friends with whom I still keep in touch and the sense of community on campus.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?

I expected Birmingham to be a vibrant city and there was always plenty to keep us occupied in our free time. I also expected there to be lots of resources available to assist in my studies. Above all I expected good quality education and I feel as though this is what I received.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

I wish I had re-read notes before the next lecture to make sure that I understood what I was being taught. I would definitely advise students to ask questions - it may feel embarrassing but it is likely that there are others that would benefit from the answer and it is much more important to make sure that you understand. 

How did you grow as a person by coming to University? Did it change your life in any way?

I became more independent by living away from home and having to manage my own life. Passing my degree made me realise that I can achieve as long as I'm prepared to work hard and my experiences at university have helped me to adapt to my current role. In addition, I feel that the skills that I learned at university have benefited me in my further studies (NEBOSH certificate and professional diploma in Health, Safety and Environmental Management).