My week as a student at the University of Padova: Views of a summer school student

By Charlotte Ripley – Food and Human Nutrition Student

A trip to Italy?! Yes please!

In June, I attended a Food and Health Summer School in Italy, mixing with students from the University of Padova and the University of Sydney.

The focus was on the effects of different food components on overall health and well-being, with topics ranging from the effect of soil on the micronutrient content of foods to the worldwide issue of obesity – so the week was specifically aimed at those with a medical or food science background. Thankfully, everything was taught in English, as even Duolingo wouldn’t have prepared me for terms such as ‘squalene’, ‘fetotoxic’ or ‘teratogenicity’.

Though the week was primarily lecture based, we visited 2 different food producers (Grandi Molini Italiani –  one of Europe’s largest flour mills – and Prosciuttificio Attilio Fontana Montagnana – a family-run prosciutto factory) and got to see some of Padova’s biggest attractions (Orto Botanica, Palazzo Bo and the Museum of History and Medicine). We even had our very own gala dinner to celebrate the end of the summer school – luckily, the lectures didn’t quite put me off the free wine on the tables.

Prata Della Valle – just a 5-minute walk from my hotel.

Continue reading “My week as a student at the University of Padova: Views of a summer school student”

My top tips for starting university when living with disability or long-term medical condition

By Caroline McKenzie

Moving to uni can be lots of change for anybody. When you’re also living with a disability or a medical condition, getting through each day, let alone being able to study can be a challenge.

I’ve just finished my first year studying biochemistry and living and learning with physical disability has often been hard! I thought I’d share a few things that have helped, and so here are my practical top tips for starting university for those living with disability/long term medical condition.

Me on my scooter outside the med school

Get a Support Plan

A Student Support Plan (SSP) looks at all aspects of learning and possible adaptations that you may need, you get these from Student Wellbeing. Meet up with your disability advisor as soon as possible, the sooner you get this in place the sooner adaptions can be made. They will be aware of things you can utilise that perhaps you didn’t realise- for me that included creating a Personal Evacuation Plan (PEP) for when there were fire alarms! Continue reading “My top tips for starting university when living with disability or long-term medical condition”

Dear International [and UK] Fresher – You CAN do it!

By Simona Jogaudaite (2nd Year Biomed Sciences)

With a flight ticket in my hand, I can still remember being so nervous and so excited at the same time before starting a new chapter of my life – university.  

My big flight to the UK from Lithuania

“How did you handle that?” you may ask. Here’re my answers and top tips you.

GET RID OF THE FEAR TO FAIL:

You think the British accent is hard to understand? Well, you haven‘t heard the Geordie accent then. I remember it was my first day in Newcastle and my flatmate texted me: “alreet”.  Continue reading “Dear International [and UK] Fresher – You CAN do it!”

New year, new name, new state of the art facilities!

An exciting year ahead! By Dr Debbie Bevitt

It’s nearly the start of the new academic year and the School is buzzing as we prepare to welcome our new Stage 1 students – and of course to welcome back our existing students!

Dr Debbie Bevitt, our Head of School

We have an exciting year ahead, including a new name for the school and two major building developments which will provide much needed additional study space and specialist facilities for our students.

We have a new name!

Continue reading “New year, new name, new state of the art facilities!”

The STAR technique – what is it and how do you use it?

By Beth Lawry

There’s an awesome placement / graduate role / further study position that you really want….

How do you succeed in getting it?

Answering those important questions

You will be asked questions, either in applications or interviews, to determine if you are the right fit for the role and how you would react in workplace situations.

Interview. Photo by Johanna Buguet on Unsplash

You will be asked competency questions e.g. ‘Tell me a time you’ve worked in a team’ or ‘How have you used organisational skills to good effect’ or ‘Describe a situation where communication has been important’. Continue reading “The STAR technique – what is it and how do you use it?”

How to find a year-placement

5 Top tips for finding a placement

1. START NOW

Don’t put the preparation off, now is the time!

Even if you’re unsure about doing a placement, investigate and prepare now – you can decide later not to do one but you do not want to regret not trying.

Kristi did her placement at GSK

wasn’t sure I wanted to do a placement until I went for interviews and saw the facilities, from which point I was sold!” Kristi’s GSK placement profile

“I didn’t want to do a placement but having spoken to Dr Lawry I decided to put my CV in for one. I’m so glad I did as my placement has been brilliant!” Ellie – Fujifilm Diosynth placement Continue reading “How to find a year-placement”

Where have our students gone on year placement?

Looking for inspiration?

A year placement is a minimum of 9 months. You usually get paid £16-22k and you open up doors for your future career.

All the company names have hyperlinks so you can get information directly from their website.

There is info from current and past students all of whom found their placements an extremely rewarding experience!

Many companies have lab-based and office-based placements.

1. GSK

Lab-based and office-based positions. Highly competitive but excellent future prospects! Apply early for GSK!

Me, outside the GSK Stevenage site where I did my placement

Read about Emma’s GSK placement here

Read Sam’s or Kristi’s GSK placement profile Continue reading “Where have our students gone on year placement?”

So your immune system’s an overachiever; what I’m doing about it during my placement at GSK

By Emma McCarthy

Hey, it finally worked!

I look at the screen and smile. After an intensive six-hour lab session involving lots of careful pipetting, I’m ecstatic that the experiment I’ve spent weeks on has succeeded at last.

At the moment, I’m based in a biology research unit at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies on the planet. I’ve been on placement here for over nine months; I still can’t quite believe it some days.

Continue reading “So your immune system’s an overachiever; what I’m doing about it during my placement at GSK”

STEMtastic 2019

What an amazing day the SOLAR outreach team had teaching 365 very excited primary school children all about STEM…..it really was STEMtastic!

Our Team

Our SBMS students, Gokul Krishnan, Sophie Amato, and Molly Johnson joined Dr Vanessa Armstrong and Dr Beth Lawry at the Centre For Life to inspire the next generation of scientists at STEMtastic 2019.

Our fantastic scientists, Gokul, Sophie, Molly and Vanessa all set to teach the children about the heart and exercise

Continue reading “STEMtastic 2019”