Lindsay McKenzie

mckenzie-lindsayBSc Biochemistry with a Year in Continental Europe graduate

“Having the flexibility to learn a language alongside my degree was fantastic and my year in Germany was one of the best of my life”

What I have been doing since graduation

After completing my biochemistry degree I did a masters in science journalism at City University London. I then got a job as a news reporter at a magazine called Research Europe where I wrote about European research funding and policy news. I now work for Research Europe’s sister publication, Research Fortnight, which focuses on UK issues.

How my course benefited me

I studied Biochemistry and spent one year of my degree at the Free University in Berlin as an Erasmus student. Having the flexibility to learn a language alongside my degree was fantastic and my year in Germany was one of the best of my life – Berlin is an incredible city! German universities are very different to the UK and experiencing being a student at a German university has helped me to understand a lot about the wider German research environment and their approach to education.

In my role at Research Europe magazine I wrote about many German policy issues and it was great to have had the context of studying there. Although a lot of German people speak excellent English, it has been useful to be able to communicate with interviewees in German and I’ve enjoyed going to conferences in several German cities where I still have friends I made in my Erasmus year.

My first year in Birmingham

I loved my first year at university. Birmingham is a fantastic city to be a student in and the university has so much to offer. It’s a great time to try new things, whether it’s kayaking, rock-climbing or ballet – Birmingham has it all.

How going to University benefitted me

Studying biochemistry was hard, but I’m so proud that I did it and came out with the results I wanted. Going to university allowed me to prove to myself that I’m capable of working independently and can stand on my own two feet. It has also given me a lot of confidence socially; I met so many great people that will be friends for life.

Campus life

Birmingham, I think more than any other university, really has the best of both worlds. It’s a campus university that’s just a short bus or train ride away from the city centre. If it’s a nice day you can even stroll into town along the canal, which is beautiful in summer.

Living in Birmingham

Selly Oak is such a fun place to live as a student.  The university and all your friends are just a short walk away and you can’t go to the supermarket without bumping into someone you know, you’re also close to all the nightlife and culture of the city centre. There is a real spirit of camaraderie in Selly Oak that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. I miss it! 

Student societies I took part in

I tried loads of different societies in my first year, but it was being treasurer of the EuroBrum society in my final year that I enjoyed most. We organized loads of great events for Erasmus and international students studying at the university and I met so many great people. 

My future aspirations

My dream is to go to New York and work as a journalist there. I was lucky enough to be born in the USA so it’s a possibility! 

My top tips

When you’re choosing a university I think it’s really important to visit the campus. I travelled all over the UK to look at universities, but I knew as soon as I stepped onto Birmingham’s campus and looked up at Old Joe that it was the right place for me.