I was able to fit my final year units around my interests of inorganic and analytical chemistry. Also the amount of equipment available at the University has been a huge benefit to me, including training in many analytical techniques including NMR and EPR spectroscopy.
How did you decide on your degree choice?
When it came to deciding what degree to do it was a decision between biology and chemistry as I enjoyed both sciences throughout school and A-level, I ended up picking chemistry due to the job prospects. As Manchester was close to my family and friends and the university seemed welcoming, with warm staff and good facilities, it was an easy decision over York.
What were your first impressions of the university and the city?
My first impressions of the university were as a welcoming university with good facilities. The members of staff I met at my interview were very friendly people to talk to. The course seemed really interesting and the chance to finish my degree with a master degree instead of a bachelor’s degree by doing a year working really impressed me as I enjoyed working.
What are you most enjoying about your course?
I enjoy the independence and the social life involved with being a university student and being in Manchester. There is always something on and loads of student nights. With the course itself I have enjoyed a lot of the lectures as they have great content and are delivered by enthusiastic people. Also, being able to choose my final year units around my interests and experience whilst on industry has been brilliant.
What skills and attributes do you think you have gained from your course and co-curricular activities so far?
From my course, I have gained the ability to confidently devise a method for my work and carry out the work to a good standard. Also my timekeeping and record keeping have improved through the weekly lab practical work and write-ups. Also I am part of the chemistry society at the university, which is good for social events and making new friends within the department.
When I returned from industry, I decided to take up a new sport as part of my final year, which ended up being rugby for one of the halls of residence teams. This has helped me develop teamwork skills and it gives me something to look forward to at the end of the week and the nights out with the team and other teams at the halls I play for are good fun!
How do you think you are benefitting from studying at Manchester?
My industry placement was based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at Akzo Nobel, where I worked as part of a team who looked at new organic biocides and how to control the release of these biocides for biocidal antifouling paint. This included developing methods to quantify the loading of biocides onto technology, release rate testing and incorporating the technology into paints, looking at the effect of the technology over time.
Being in industry gave me a year away from Manchester, which was a nice change for someone who had been in Manchester for 11 years. One benefit of doing a placement is how the placement grew my confidence in my experimental work and methods. Also, the people I met on industry gave me lots of career advice, people who I could contact to ask questions regarding any techniques or equipment and an excellent reference on my CV. Also, the money made a nice change from living on student loans!
What advice would you give to students considering applying for the same course that you took?
University is amazing; both the social and studying aspects have been brilliant, even though the studying side is hard work. It is a great experience and the industry year was a great way to break up my studies into two sections. Best advice I can give is get involved with sports groups, socials and your course - the University of Manchester is full of groups and socials to get involved in.