Lisa Purk

MSc Food Safety, Hygiene and Management, 2019
Food microbiology PhD student, University of Surrey

As a PhD student I am researching on a certain topic. That means on a daily basis I'm either in the office reading literature about my topic in order to have broad knowledge and understanding of my research field, or I am planning new experiments or evaluate experiments. Because of my research field in food microbiology, my experiments are lab-based and therefore I spend a lot of my working time in the lab.

What is the best thing about what you’re doing now?

The independence in research. Although my supervisor helps me a lot and provides ideas for my research, I am independent and free to do what I am interested in or what looks promising for me.

How has your career developed since graduating?

Since it is not long ago that I graduated from the University of Birmingham my career hasn't developed too much yet. Nevertheless, through the Masters course I developed the ability to do a PhD, to qualify for a PhD and scholarship, and I also met my current PhD supervisor during a guest lecture at Birmingham. So overall it all paid off very well.

lisa purk

What motivates you?

I am generally an ambitious person, but it always motivated me if I have somebody (whether it is a professor, supervisor or study colleague) who pushes me and believes in my abilities.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

The University of Birmingham has a high international reputation, which was quite important for me to do my Masters degree at a such a high level university. Furthermore, and actually more important, was the course itself. I found the MSc. Food Safety, Hygiene & Management course perfectly fits into my expectation and field of interest.

What are your fondest memories of the University?

I was very impressed about the diversity campus life, the opportunities you could do and that it was alive at any time. Nevertheless what really made the time at the University of Birmingham unforgettable, were the people. I met really nice and interesting professors, lecturers and study colleagues from all around the world, which I think is especially important in regard to food an interesting diversity.

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Top tip from Lisa

“Try to get as much out of the knowledge from your lecturer and most important, network. Keep in touch with the people you met. A network in the area you are working in is crucial and will definitely help you during your career.”