The interdisciplinary nature of the degree seemed the perfect way to gain a firm knowledge of Biology, whilst allowing me the chance to explore other subjects in-depth that would otherwise be relegated to mere spare-time interests. A typical day at university for me would be attending a laboratory practical in which we were isolating and growing bioluminescent bacteria, and then heading to a seminar to argue about Gothic Literature, or spending the afternoon in the library reading up on Roy Lichtenstein’s “Crying Girl” for my next History of Art essay. It was overwhelming at times, and I sometimes found it hard to juggle such contrasting subjects, but I can honestly say I enjoyed and benefited from every module I
studied. If you’re a person filled with curiosity about the world then it really is the degree for you.
I’m grateful for so many things I experienced during university, but one of them is the ambition that the core modules instilled in me, often emphasising how important it is to supplement your time at university with internships and networking. Many people don’t realise these things until the end of their degree, when it’s too late.
My LANS degree has helped me to confidently choose a career path, and encouraged me to find something interdisciplinary so I can continue exploring my interests.
As soon as I finished my Master’s degree I ended up moving to Paris to really commit to mastering the language. I never imagined I would do something so adventurous! Now I’m taking 10 hours of language classes a week, and working as a tutor in my spare time. I really needed this small break from studying, where I’ve been able to spend my days roaming around art galleries, grappling with the subjunctive, and of course then going to bakeries and trying to order chocolate eclairs in broken French.
Recently I found out that I successfully got a job working as a Publishing Editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry so I’ll be returning to Cambridge soon. I’m amazed that I’ve managed to find a job that so perfectly combines my love of writing with my passion for science – it really is the LANS dream!
Thinking back on your degree, can you give an example of how your approaches to learning and career planning might have changed during and as a result of your LANS experience?
During my year abroad I started to feel guilty for only speaking one language, and upon my return to Birmingham I took a French course during my final year. It’s really amazing that the LANS degree gives you the flexibility to pick up a new subject in your final year!