Katy Hirst

A superb new science complex and the chance to work locally in the industry while studying attracted Katy Hirst to the University of Sunderland. Katy did her A Levels at college in her home town of Huddersfield before heading to Sunderland.

I’d read about the course and came to an open day at the University to find out more. The very high standard of the laboratories and equipment at the University was a real factor in me choosing Sunderland. Another reason was the fact that there are so many pharmaceutical and petro-chemical companies in the North East, offering a lot more opportunities for me when I graduate.

The course includes a year out working in industry, and thanks to the excellent contacts within the University, I was matched with the pharmaceutical firm Epax on Teesside, which manufactures Omega 3 products. I spent a full year there putting into practice what I had learnt on the degree course and made some great friends and contacts. Because it is a relatively small plant, I also got the chance to work on a number of different projects across the company, giving me a real oversight of the whole operation.

I would really recommend doing a placement. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to do one, but now I realise how important it is and I have some really valuable experience to put on my CV. I have matured a lot during my time at Sunderland and my placement gave me the opportunity to put elements of my course into practice, which has really helped me in my approach to the final year. It has been such a good experience that I am planning to study for a Masters or PhD when I graduate, and when it comes to looking for work, the North East is number one for my industry."



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