When I finished my BSc in Biology in Spain, I knew I wanted to do a Master’s in Microbiology. I was advised by my lecturers to consider postgraduate degrees in England and I received offers from several universities but settled on Kent because of its good rankings, the clarity of information and a real welcoming feeling.
We are investigating the effects of the genetic deletion of HDA1, HDA2 and HDA3 genes in the fungus Candida albicans. The aim is to verify if the absence of this gene avoids the different morphological changes that the fungus can make, thanks to its complex genome. If we could avoid Candida albicans making such changes, we would be able to create a useful drug to treat the immunocompromised patients affected by this fungus.
During my undergraduate degree I learned through taught classes. Now that I am doing a Master’s by Research, there are no classes or exams so it’s very different. I’m really enjoying it.
I started communicating with my supervisor via email when I applied. Since then we’ve had a very good, professional relationship. She is also very kind and helps me with everything. And it’s not just her – all the people in the lab are very open and they help me understand things. So I’m really happy.
There are a few things I’d like to work on during this Masters. I’d like to improve my English and gain confidence when speaking. I want to gain experience of working in the lab and learn new practical techniques. I’d like to be better prepared when reading papers and scrutinising what is said.
I’m not sure yet what I’d like to do after the Master’s – I’ll decide closer to when I finish, but I’m thinking about doing a PhD or work in industry related to microbiology.
I do feel supported. The accommodation is very good; I’m really happy in Woolf College. Most the students who live there are from outside the UK and you easily meet a lot of new people. During the introduction, I joined a few student societies and that was a good way to meet new people too. I feel very involved in the community.
I’ve worked in different labs and the lab here has everything you could need. Also, across campus, all the meeting rooms and lecture theatres are great.
When I was first reading about the programme, I felt a bit afraid that I wouldn’t be able to reach the level of work that was required. But when you get here, you see that everyone is willing and able to help you. No-one expects you to know everything. So my advice is – don’t be scared!