What attracted you to Loughborough University?
When I came on the open days, the campus seemed amazing. It's the biggest green campus in the UK and it has everything you need - shops, takeaways, bars and a pub. Also the Students’ Union is great and drew me in; I wanted to go to a good university and also wanted the experience. Loughborough seemed to be the best choice for what I was looking for.
Why did you choose this course?
I did chemistry at A level and really enjoyed it. I knew I wanted to carry on studying it - although I had no real idea of what career I wanted to pursue when I finished - so I did. I opted for the Medicinal and Pharmaceutical course after some reading around the subject matter and potential careers, and also since it was quite unusual and it's not something that's offered in every university.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
I enjoy the labs and, strangely enough, the amount of time we spend in classes. Spending so long in labs and lectures with your coursemates mean it's generally quite a social course and I've made lots of friends on my course. Chemsoc also organises lots of things to bring the course closer too, such as dodgeball and football competitions, socials in the union and a chemistry ball which are all good fun.
What do you think of the teaching quality?
I think the teaching quality on the whole is good. The lecturers are all very approachable and open to questions and suggestions; I've always received help when I've needed it.
Do you have a particularly favourite module?
I really enjoyed the module about the physiological and chemical basis of drug effects in my second year. It was the first separate module we had in the Medicinal and Pharmaceutical course, and it was the one that confirmed what I was most interested in. It gave us more insight into how the body works, the chemicals that make it work, what happens when it doesn't and what we can do to fix it. It was a long module with lots of information but I found it very interesting and it's been my favourite module so far.
What support have you had from the University?
In this year I have had lots of support from the Careers and Employability centre. They have helped me with my CV, cover letters, interviews and also general advice.
Describe a typical day on your course
In Chemistry we have quite a few 9 am starts so I'm often awake and doing things quite early. This year I've been kept busy with applications for when I finish university and also working at home or in lectures/labs. Usually what we have changes quite a lot day to day, but it often racks up to around 20 hours a week.
Have you studied for a year abroad?
I spent last year (my third year) in Valencia, Spain, doing a DIntS (Diploma in International Studies). I studied and lived out there like a home student would, and also did a project based on antiparasitic drugs.
I learned a lot culturally and socially, as well as learning to speak and live in Spanish (and a bit of Catalan too since it’s the regional language spoken in Catalonia and Valencia). I would now feel confident getting a job or studying for a PhD in Valencia or in other parts of Spain, and met lots of people from other countries with different languages. I'm actually in contact at the moment with one of my lecturers from Valencia about further possibilities out there in Spain.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
At the moment I am looking into doing a PhD mainly, but I haven't ruled out graduate schemes or applying for jobs. I am looking into doing a PhD or research in drug design and producing new drugs mainly as I think it's what I'm most interested in.
After speaking to potential PhD supervisors I have been told that my degree at Loughborough, being 'Medicinal and Pharmaceutical' Chemistry, is an interesting and unusual mixture of chemistry and biology, and could mean that I have the required knowledge to take part in the whole process, from the design of new drugs and analogues right through to the biological testing and clinical trials.
What would you say to someone considering studying your course?
I would say that if they are interested in chemistry and if they want a social course then come and do it here at Loughborough.
What do you enjoy most about being a student here?
The social atmosphere and the fact that my course is so sociable. I also like the size of Loughborough - it's not very big so everyone is fairly nearby and it's easy to keep in contact with friends. Since the town is small everyone goes to the same place on certain nights, which is something I like since you will always see people you know.