Katie Wilson

Biomedical Science with a Sandwich Year BSc

Everyone’s friendly, we are all striving for the same goal.

Why did you choose Kent?

I really loved the location; it’s beautiful and I really liked the fact that everything is available on campus. I wanted to do a Sandwich Year – I didn’t want to move too far away from home – but I wanted to get experience for a job in the future.

How is the course going?

It’s going really well. Biomedical Science is something I’m really passionate about. There aren’t actually any modules this year that I don’t like. I lean more towards the physiology side of the course, rather than microbiology and virology. I’ve always been a science enthusiast. All of my A levels were science based – it’s always come naturally to me.

How would you describe your lecturers and what about the level of support?

The majority of my lecturers are extremely passionate and approachable. I’ve gone to a lot of them this year, mainly as a result of doing the sandwich year – it’s increased my confidence to ask questions. If you can’t make sense of data or an assignment appears confusing, you can ask for help; the support is there if you need it.

Which modules have you enjoyed the most, and why?

I really enjoyed Skills for Bioscientists, in the first year. My A levels were Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths, so it was like a revision module; it got everyone on to the same place, and the lecturer really brings it to life. I also love the physiology lectures; I’ve always been interested in anatomy and how things work.

How would you describe your fellow students?

In the beginning I was quite shy; I had maybe two to three good course friends who were really helpful, but I have more now, mainly because those of us who have come back from the sandwich year have stuck together. We are all working really hard. Everyone’s friendly, even in group-work with people you don’t know that well, we are all striving for the same goal.

Where did you spend your sandwich year?

I worked at Proctor & Gamble in a team called Personal Healthcare. My role involved taking supplement products and creating a scientific communication for the product launch. They were launching a multi-vitamin supplement brand called Swisse, which has just become available in the UK. It is the No 1 Australian supplement brand and Nicole Kidman, the actress, endorses it in a television advertising campaign. I worked on three in particular: the immune supplement, krill oil, an omega 3 oil, and fish oils. I ended up as the krill oil specialist in the company; it’s ridiculous how much I know about krill oil! I created scientific communication pieces and had to understand how the immune system works and how the product would work in the body. The placement cemented what I want to do. It’s the science I enjoy, so scientific communication is something I want to go into. The sandwich year is all about experience – I would not have had any idea that science communication existed – that’s where it excels; it shows you what is out there.

What kind of career do you hope to follow when you leave, and why?

I definitely want to work in science communication. I used to want to be a teacher and I see it as a way of relaying science in a way that is easily understandable for other people. There are so many different areas you can go into. Having the experience of the sandwich year should help me to stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting a job because of that experience.

Any advice to somebody thinking of coming to Kent?

Join a society. You do need a break from your course and having a night out doing other things outside of work is a good way to make friends. The jump from first to second year is quite big, so up your game. You need to really focus and work harder. I’ve had a really good three years here; it will be sad to finish.