Holly Foster studied MChem, BSc Chemistry at the University of Leeds

Holly Foster

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I really liked that it's a single campus university, I feel like I'm part of a community. It's also really close to the city centre which is great, and I really like the city of Leeds.

I was also lucky to receive the Dean's Excellence Scholarship for a value of £1000 due to achieving high grades in my A-Levels.

Why did you choose to study chemistry?

There was the option to complete a year in industry, which was really appealing to me. I'd seen from the Open Day visits that the department were really friendly and the staff were too.

I felt like there were lots of job opportunities available to me afterwards if I were a chemistry graduate in many different industries.

What do you like the most about your course?

There is a great emphasis on lab skills in the course which I like. In first year it starts with one day a week and then this increases throughout the degree.

There are lots of workshops to aid understanding of the lecture material and to help us be able to solve problems.

What skills have you gained from your course so far?

I've definitely enhanced my numeracy skills during the course, as well as my fundamental lab skills which will help me in my career. Also, communication skills and lots of soft skills.

Can you describe what student life at Leeds is like (perhaps a typical day)?

A typical day for me would be getting up, walking to university and going to lectures.

During breaks in between lectures my friends and I will discuss the lectures usually in one of the many cafes or eateries around campus.

After lectures, I'll head home and do some work, as we can access lots of course material online this is really useful.

In my evenings I will socialise with my friends or flatmates. 

What were you most worried about before arriving at university?

I was worried about the workload and if I'd be able to meet deadlines. I've always met my deadlines and I've never had to pull an all nighter!

What do you like most about being a student so far/what has been your best experience?

My placement year at Astrazeneca was great experience, and I got paid for it!

It enhanced my love of chemistry and I got to apply skills I'd learnt at university in an industrial environment which helped to make more sense of all the course content I'd learnt.

It was definitely the best year of my degree and I've now got good links for jobs when I graduate. 

Is there anything which particularly surprised you about being a student?

I'm surprised at how quickly I became independent and how easily I made friends. Everyone is in the same situation so it's really easy to make friends.

What do you do outside of your studies?

I'm a part of the ChemSoc, FoodSoc and Girl Guiding societies which are great ways to make new friends and get involved.

Are there any other comments that you'd like to make about being a student at the University of Leeds?

I have no regrets about coming to the University of Leeds. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here.