So here it is, my last blog post! Firstly I need to answer the question: what next? I have my degree under my belt but what to do with it? I mentioned in an earlier post that I had a place on the Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology MSc, remaining at Leicester. So this is one option for me. Recently, an opportunity came up to apply for a PhD in the lab where I did my final year project. This is a BBSRC iCASE studentship, which means there is a chance to do a placement in industry. In this case, this is with a plant breeding company in Cambridge. I have been lucky enough to be invited to an interview next week, so fingers crossed things work out! If not, then I will be doing the MSc as planned and try for a PhD again next year.
Since starting my final year at university I have applied for an array of different things. I applied to graduate schemes with CRUK and the Wellcome Trust, both in science communication roles. I have also applied to a total of six PhD projects, five of which were at Leicester. Aside from the most recent, I didn’t get a single interview. This can obviously be a confidence blow, but it was a common theme amongst a lot of my peers. If I could give advice to anyone in my position, it would be to persevere and apply to anything that you could honestly see yourself doing in the future. Admittedly the applications take time, but I found that once I had a solid personal statement written, this could be easily adapted. I’m a strong believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ and if you don’t apply, you’ll never know!
After an amazing three years at the University of Leicester (with a year in Heidelberg thrown in), I am so happy to be remaining in the city for the foreseeable future. It is a great place to live and since my first day at university I have felt so welcome in the Biological Sciences department. I’m excited to see what’s in store for my friends and I now that we are graduates! Now it’s time for me to enjoy the rest of my summer (I’m off to Y Not Music Festival tomorrow for four days and then Canada in two weeks!) before the hard work begins again, whether that be doing an MSc or a PhD!
Thanks for reading over the past year and good luck to any future Leicester scientists!