Hannah Reed

Biochemistry with a Sandwich Year BSc

The beauty of the science degree is that there are so many options out there for you and science graduates are very employable.

What attracted you to Kent and to the course?

The course here had everything that I was after, with the added benefit of flexibility to tailor your course to suit your interests after the first year. The student satisfaction ratings for both the course and the university were also impressive. The location was key for me because I could commute from home and save a bit of money.

How have you found making friends when you weren’t campus based?

It’s a different experience living at home but I have made friends easily. I mentored as part of the school’s peer mentoring scheme and this helped me a lot. I have also been to events held by the Biosciences Society and these are also a really good way of making friends while expanding your academic knowledge.

What are your favourite modules?

The ‘Skills for Bioscientists’ module in the first year covered a range of different topics including some basic statistics, which I found really useful, particularly going into a placement year. I have also enjoyed my final-year project, which, for me, was laboratory-based. It was very interesting to be actively involved in research and have the opportunity to apply what you have been taught during your degree.

Tell us about your final-year project?

Myosin VI (MVI) is a backwards motor protein that has roles in transcription. It has recently been shown that MVI and the estrogen receptor (ER) can bind, which is particularly interesting since MVI is over-expressed in breast and ovarian cancer where over-expression of ER target genes is implicated. Therefore, we wanted

to further investigate the kinetics of the binding event, with the hope that this can help us better understand the role of MVI in these cancers. This is a new and exciting field of research.

What do you think of the support available?

The lecturers are all really friendly and approachable. Nothing’s too much hassle. I’ve also had an academic adviser who has stayed with me throughout my degree.

If I get an exam script back and I’m unsure where I’ve lost marks, he’ll sift through it with me. They can also help with updating your CV and discussing career options.

What was your professional year like?

The professional year is about using science-related skills in a non-laboratory environment. I worked for The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) as an analyst. I used data analysis, problem-solving, logical thinking, organisation, presentation and report writing skills gained throughout my degree to help me.

I wanted to complete a professional year to get experience outside of the laboratory. The beauty of the science degree is that there are so many options out there for you and science graduates are very employable. As a result of doing my placement, I have been sponsored by Dstl and act as a brand ambassador for them while at university.

What do you think of the facilities at Kent?

The library has just been updated, which is nice since I spend a lot of time in there. Also, the new Sibson building was finished when I came back from placement. It’s great to be able to learn in these inspiring environments.

What advice would you give to somebody who was thinking about coming to Kent?

I would say definitely come as Kent’s a really good university and there is a lot of support for you. I would also say that the jump from first to second year is hard, so prepare yourself and don’t think that the first year is a breeze. What you learn in first year does carry forward, even though it doesn’t contribute to your degree mark. In that sense, remember that you need a work-life balance. Sometimes you need to take a break and socialise, at other times you really do need to focus.