Students Staff

Graduate profiles

Read the experiences of some of our recent prize-winning graduates and find out the careers paths they intend to follow.

Interviews with our former students

  • Andreea Manole (BSc Biochemistry)

    Andreea Manole"I chose to study for this degree at Essex because the curriculum of the Biochemistry degree was diverse and the research carried out in the School of Biological Sciences seemed to be very focused and intense.

    During my second year I was particularly attracted to modules such as Metals in Biology and Membrane Biology and Bioenergetics which involved elements of data analysis. In the third year I enjoyed ‘Drug Design And Human Pharmacology’ which provided practical experience in computer-aided drug design.

    Throughout my years at Essex I received exceptional support from the members of staff at the School of Biological Sciences. The classes were always captivating and with the breadth of knowledge and skills I gained during this time I was able to take the next steps towards my goal of a career as a research scientist. I plan to continue my education by undertaking a PhD in Neurology at the Institute of Neurology, UCL. This position is funded by the Medical Research Council. I then hope to follow an academic career and become an independent researcher."

    In her final year Andreea won the Syngenta and David Whytock Prize for the most outstanding final year performance in a Biochemistry-based course and the Biotechnology Prize for her performance on the final year research project.

  • Sona Vardanyan (BSc Biomedical Science)

    Sona Vardanya "I have always had a keen interest in science, thus choosing a degree within that subject was rather easy for me. Furthermore, I wanted to move from Norway to another country, and England was always my first choice. Searching for different degrees, I found Biomedical Science quite attractive and thought it was perfect for me. I only applied to the University of Essex and luckily I was accepted. The university appealed to me due to its good reputation and its campus life.

    My course offered me a range of interesting subjects and topics, however, I found immunology especially interesting. The lectures were stimulating and I gained a fascination with the subject, which is why I chose to write my dissertation within it.

    I have had so many memorable moments at the University throughout the three years, thus making it impossible for me to write down just one. Every lecture, every night out in Sub Zero, every picnic in the park, and every coffee from The Bakery will forever have a special place in my heart. This university did not only provide me with a good education, but friends that will be my best friends for the rest of my life. I am truly grateful for everything that I experienced at the University.

    I have been offered a place on an MSc Immunology course at King’s College London, which I have accepted. After finishing my masters, I might apply for a PhD, or medicine."

    In her final year Sona won the Reproductive Immunology Prize for her outstanding immunology-based research project.

  • Seema Ali (BSc Biomedical Science including placement year)

    Seema Ali "I selected BSc Biomedical Science (Integrated), primarily because I knew it had a placement year and in addition it was accredited by the IBMS. I knew that this degree would give me an excellent foundation for any career in the scientific sector, especially biomedical science. I chose the University of Essex, because I knew I would have the opportunity to learn from world-class researchers.

    I particularly enjoyed the lectures on virology and immunology and this eventually led me to select a final year project in molecular virology with Professor Glyn Stanway. This was an incredible opportunity and I very much enjoyed exploring an area that had not previously been investigated.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University of Essex and the most memorable thing from my time here has been all the people I have met. There has always been such a relaxed and friendly environment and all of the lecturers have always been easily approachable and helpful.

    Currently, I am working as a Trainee Biomedical Scientist in the Biochemistry Department of Colchester General Hospital where I hope to complete my specialist IBMS portfolio. In the longer term, I will try and apply for the NHS Scientist training programme to become a Clinical Scientist or maybe pursue postgraduate study."

    In her final year Seema won the Glaxo Smith Kline Prize for the most outstanding performance on BSc Biomedical Science and the John Gorrod Prize for her final year research project.

  • Jack Haynes (BSc Ecology)

    Jack Haynes "Prior to university, I researched the entry requirements for various environmental jobs I was interested in and most stated that an Ecology degree was needed. I knew that the University of Essex had a very good reputation and it was also convenient that it was within daily commuting distance from my home.

    My favourite modules included Ecological Monitoring and Assessment, Marine and Freshwater Vertebrates and Freshwater Ecology. I also enjoyed the various field courses, especially the trip to Brittany, France, as part of the Skills in Ecological Science module. The Research Project in the final year was also both challenging and rewarding and I really enjoyed the whole process from the planning to execution to writing up.

    I think the university experience as a whole has been hugely memorable, from the wide range of knowledge I have gained to the good friends I have made along the way. One of my favourite memories has to be the summer field course to Brittany which epitomised my time at the university really; a lot of hard work but with plenty of time to enjoy yourself as well.

    My immediate plans are to get work within either ecological consultancy or environmental management and then to progress as far as I can along the chosen career path."

    In his final year Jack won the Environmental and Conservation Prize for the most outstanding performance on the course, The Society of Biology Award for the highest year mark in a Biology-based course and the Abel Imray Project Prize.

  • Sophie Carter (BSc Sports and Exercise Science)

    Sophie Carter"I chose to study Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Essex based on the School’s high reputation for research within sports science; combined with designated laboratories and the opportunity to gain practical applied experiences from the Human Performance Unit. Moreover, the course itself is very much focused on the scientific aspects of sport and exercise, which aligned with my interests.

    I found the Nutrition and Drugs in Sport module very interesting as it combined two elements that are at the forefront of sports science. Topics focusing on the use of drugs in sport were particularly interesting as I studied these at a time when the Lance Armstrong drug scandal was unravelling, meaning I could directly apply the lecture content and knowledge I gained. The nutritional aspects were also of great interest and benefit as I could utilise this information and apply it to my own training and sports performance.

    I have had many memorable experiences during my three years at Essex. One which has direct relevance to my course and studies was the work I carried out at the Human Performance Unit as part of the Frontrunners work placement scheme. During this placement I was able to assist with the pre-season testing of Colchester United Football Team, which provided me with the opportunity to work with elite athletes and develop a greater understanding of the application of the theory from my degree course. I believe this experience demonstrates the wide range of opportunities studying Sports and Exercise Science at Essex provides outside the course itself.

    I have developed a strong desire to study and attain a PhD in Sports and Exercise Science and continue onto a research-based career. In particular I am interested in health-related Sports Science research, how exercise can be used to modify health risks and prevent disease."

    In her final year Sophie won the Richard Watson Prize for the best performance on a Sports Science degree and both the Human Performance Unit and the Physiological Society Prize for her outstanding final year project.