I’m an international postgraduate taught student from a small town in Upstate New York. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology at a small university in Vermont. My field of study is Microbiology and I’m interested in research and drug development.
What were your reasons for taking on a postgraduate degree at Strathclyde?
I wanted to continue my education and become more specialised in my field. I also enjoy learning new things and enrolling in a master’s programme was the best option for me at the end of my undergraduate career. I hope to continue my education and eventually teach at a university.
I knew that I wanted to study in Scotland when I was applying to schools. When I had to make my final decision, it came down to the courses that were offered and the testimonials I read about the student life here.
What do you like about your course and Strathclyde?
My course is specialised, much more so than back in the US. Also, I enjoy having different lecturers teaching the subjects they are experts in, which has also allowed me to meet multiple members of the faculty (over Zoom, of course!).
What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
I’ve learned a lot of valuable skills while on my course. The main ones I can think of, outside the laboratory, are presentation skills, how to conduct literature searches, and data processing. Since being here, I’ve given multiple presentations and each time, I feel that I am improving with the feedback I am getting from my lecturers and I feel much more confident giving a scientific presentation now.
I have also learned how to better navigate scientific databases and comb through literature efficiently in order to write my papers. As for data processing, I’ve learned how to use different programmes besides Excel to manipulate data and accurately interpret my results.
What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you achieve your goals?
I hope to continue my education and earn my doctorate and eventually have a career in Research and Development or possibly a teaching post at a university. I am currently, however, looking for a job either in Europe or the UK, and ideally I would like a position here in Glasgow!
How have you found your time living in Glasgow and what's your favourite thing about the city?
My favourite thing about living in Glasgow is the ability to easily get around! I can walk all round the city centre and to the West End. There are lots of parks that I love visiting. I hope to be able to explore more as things open back up and the weather gets warmer.
Has anything surprised you about living/studying here?
For me, it has been food that has been surprising. While most of the food is the same as what I can get at home, there are some differences. First, grocery stores are much smaller here than back in the US. Secondly, I go to store a lot more often than I would at home, my shops are smaller too. Also, it is very easy to access public transportation here, both buses and trains, which is a big difference from where I live in New York!
Regarding my studies, the only thing that has really surprised me is how small my classes are and that despite being nearly 100% online, I’ve gotten to know my course mates. My course is very international, with people from all over the world, which I was not expecting either.
What do you do to relax in your spare time? Are you part of any clubs with the Students' Association?
In my spare time, I mostly hangout with my flatmates (Covid Restrictions…) but it has given me the opportunity to get to know them really well! I do wish I was able to get more involved with clubs and such, it was one of the things I was looking forward to when coming here.
Have you managed to explore anywhere outside of Glasgow?
I’ve had the opportunity to explore a little outside of Glasgow so far and I hope to be able to do more as the lockdowns are being lifted. I have been to Stirling, which was my first trip outside the city and I would highly recommend going to visit. I went to Edinburgh on Christmas Eve, which was quite an experience and very cold! More recently, I’ve gone to Ayr and Loch Lomond, two places I would definitely go to again!
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study in Glasgow at Strathclyde?
Definitely come here! The classes are challenging and you’ll learn a lot. The lecturers are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable in their fields. The city is a wonderful place to live too!