I chose to study at the University of Sunderland as it has a very good reputation, a great support network, excellent lab facilities, high employability rates and good career prospects. Before university I studied for my A Levels; unfortunately I didn’t get the grades I wanted, so I decided to do a foundation year in Biomedical Science. I realised after the foundation year that Biomedical Science wasn’t exactly the career path I wanted to pursue, and so I decided to transfer to BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry, which suited me better.
The laboratory work that we carry out on the course has enabled me to gain a lot of experience through using a wide range of equipment and has helped me to develop my practical skills. This is my favourite part of the course as it gives you a flavour of what the working industry is like. It has also allowed me to gain a valuable skill set which will be transferable when going to work in industry after graduation.
I have worked extremely hard during my studies and have been awarded two Fujifilm Diosynth prizes for my grades. I have also gained a placement year at Sterling Pharmaceuticals Ltd. While on placement, I have learned skills in the lab that will be transferable to industry, including team-based skills, research skills, communication skills and a wider range of skills that will help me develop as a successful chemist in the future. Although the technical skills I have learned are valuable, the University has also taught me life skills that are equally valuable and will help me in everyday life, not just in employment. My future career aims include gaining more experience in pharmaceutical sector where I can hopefully work in drug design and development.
Some advice which I would give to prospective students would be to keep on top of your studies and utilise the facilities and resources available, such as library services and study skills. It is important to get involved as much as you can and take as many opportunities as possible, such as study abroad opportunities or placement work.
One way to sum up my experience at the University of Sunderland would be ‘life changing’. This university has given me unlimited opportunities and amazing experiences. It has enabled me to explore a range of different roles in the pharmaceutical/chemistry sector, allowing me to set a career goal. On a personal level, my experience at the University of Sunderland has helped me grow as an individual and made me who I am today.”
Published 17 May 2021