“Getting work experience not only boosts your CV, but can also help you decide what you are interested in. I secured work experience with two separate labs at the University which provided me with extra skills and the confidence to pursue a career in structural biochemistry.”
Why I chose Birmingham
I’ve always loved science, so when it came to choosing an area of study it was an obvious choose for me. I choose medical biochemistry in particular because it allowed me explore the living world from microbiology to disease progression.
Why my course stood out to me
What made the UoB course stand out to me was the board range of topics presented in the first year. It allowed the opportunity to sample every aspect of what biochemistry is, before choosing were I wanted to take my future as I became more specialised in the following years. The emphasis UoB puts on developing their students skills through both wet and dry projects, affording the chance to apply knowledge outside of the lecture theatre. This was most apparent to me in my final year, through the core model, which was about developing all aspects of scientific practice. As well as the amount of time, and support, I was presented with when completing my dissertation lab project. Another advantage was that UoB had strived to get every title they offered accredited, meaning that having worked for my degree in Medical Biochemistry, I will be awarded it.
My personal highlight
With so many memories it is hard to choose. Academically it was securing work experience in two separate labs within the University. These provided me with extra skills to excel in my dissertation project as well as the confidence to pursue a career in structural biochemistry. Outside of my course it has to be my involvement within the university diving society, which has allowed me to progress with my training.
Living in Birmingham
Birmingham is a fun and vibrant city. The University itself offers the advantages of a campus university with all its buildings and accommodation close by and wide open spaces. However it is a quick 10 minute train ride to the city centre. The bullring and surrounding shops have everything you many need and regular events, like the German market at Christmas, means you are never lot for things to do or places to take the family. The O2 academy is just a short walk from the train station, making shows and concerts easy to get to, as well as a night out costing about £5 in taxi fares.
Clubs, societies or events I've been involved in
I’ve been a part of the Birmingham University Diving Club, BUDC, since I started, becoming committee in my second and final years. I have helped the society grow and helped organised trips away with our sister club, thus strengthening the positive view of UoB in the surrounding community. We have trained several new divers as well as providing further courses for current divers over the years, with the current year being our strongest yet.
My aspirations for the future
The staff and course have helped prepare me of my future career in research. With their help I have secured a MIBTP PhD programme fully funded by the BBSRC. This is something I could not have done without the depth of research opportunities provided both through my course and over the summer. The guidance provided about the application process was also in valuable.
My top tips for prospective Birmingham students
Right up your notes as you go, and always do the extra reading. Getting work experience in your penultimate summer not only boosts your CV but can also help you decide what you are interested in, without the hands-on experience I gained I would never have dreamed of becoming a structural biologist. Most importantly take advantage of all the opportunities you can, not all the skills you need come from your modules.