Why did you choose Loughborough University?
Loughborough University is known for its elite status; showing sporting prowess, great innovation and creating the best student experience any 18 year old could ask for. Within the importance of Chemistry, high excellence has driven the department to a top 10 ranking across the UK, further proving the credibility of producing the best graduates.
Having heard great things about Loughborough University, I embarked on the opportunity to visit the campus on an open day. I was warmly greeted by a large green campus overlooked by clear blue skies, somewhat out of a fairy tale. The Chemistry building overlooked all the departments on campus, and with state of the art facilities such as their four large laboratories, the latest analytical equipment and friendly staff, the department really appealed to me.
What do you enjoy about your course?
The great aspect of Chemistry is the ability to maximise your practical skills out of common theory. It is sufficient to know the bare minimum in order to pass exams, but the real learning comes in life, when you see the final product at the bottom of your conical flask and how you followed the processes to produce it. Laboratory practicals are also a great way of getting to know your peers and fellow classmates. Collaborating and interacting helps time fly, whilst collectively striving to reach the same aim.
Do you have a favourite module or subject area?
Inorganic Chemistry has multiple applications for example, metalloids in catalysts, medical devices or pigments in televisions. My understanding of Chemistry in normal use of products has excelled around the knowledge of Inorganic Chemistry through the different interactions of electron exchange, interaction and excitation. As already mentioned, Chemistry is not just a theoretical subject, many laboratory practicals include producing luminous crystals or metal salts which can again be used in further application.
Have you done a professional placement?
I obtained my industrial placement at Merck Sharp and Dohme, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies across the globe. My placement was not in an obvious chemical field; I was employed as a Clinical Research Associate, which had the role of maintaining the oversight of Clinical Trials to ensure patient safety is always maintained.
This involved working in an office to help organise clinical trials and visiting hospital sights collecting the results to physically see the difference in patient welfare and how they benefit from the new drugs on the market.
Within this placement, I really felt I developed and matured as a student, being able to progress in a career where I could help make a difference through enhancement of communication and problem solving skills. Overall, my input to my role was tremendously appreciated and I was offered a two month extension to help the new students settle in through a comfortable handover.
Have you had any support from the University?
Loughborough University is known for their Students Union! A large and diverse committee is present to ensure all the right activities are planned throughout the year. Within the union, there are special support groups, for example, Loughborough Voice, who help you through difficulties if they do arise.
Within my department, I was allocated an academic supervisor, who arranges as many meetings as needed to ensure she is updated on my progress. While I was on placement, is South East England, I had been allocated an Industrial Supervisor, who was an academic at Loughborough University. He provided me with great amounts of support to ensure I had the right support to get me through my industrial career. He visited on numerous occasions throughout the year, whilst providing additional resources which might be useful for my role. His presence truly made me feel as if I was still part of the University and I will always be supported.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
I have chosen a Chemistry degree, as I felt I wanted a long prosperous career in the chemical industry. I have the opportunity to continue building experience in the pharmaceutical industry, but also have the option of entering the Fast Moving Consumer Goods or Petrochemicals industry. The great thing about a Chemistry degree is that the skills are transferable. So the possibilities are literally endless.
What would you say to someone considering your course?
Definitely go for it! There’s so much to learn at Loughborough that only 30% comes academically. The rest of the 70% comes from the people you meet, the societies you join and the culture you develop. These are literally only developed during your Loughborough experience, and it is impossible to regret any moment of it.
How do you find the social atmosphere on campus?
Loughborough University has more than 150 societies catering for all your needs. If you still do not feel these are enough, why not create your own? The support and welcome present by the Students’ Union is immense. I was a member of Loughborough Kickboxing Club and I managed to get into the first team representing one of the most elite teams across the UK. This has been the greatest experience of my University career, as I got to represent Loughborough in front of crowds of 200 people, and actually beat Reading University.