What do you do now?
I’ve just completed my teacher training and will be returning to South Craven School as a qualified teacher in September 2021!
After leaving Sixth Form I studied a degree in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Leeds, graduating in the Summer of 2020 (sadly with no graduation!). Choosing my course came from a similar place as my desire to teach – to have a direct impact on people’s lives every day, which is rewarding and motivating. The development of new medicines was very interesting to me – to understand how a drug can start from the smallest molecule to being mass-produced is amazing!
I was lucky enough to have a great group of friends at university which helped to create a support network for what was a very work-intense three years. I enjoyed spending time with them the most and despite not being able to see each other often, we have stayed very close. My advice for any students thinking about studying Medicinal Chemistry would be to go for it! The real-world applications of your research open up so many doors to different careers and your lab work develops your practical skills and looks great to future employers.
I decided not to go into the pharmaceutical industry and instead enrolled on an ITT course with Red Kite Teacher Training which I will complete in 2021. I had a brilliant first placement at South Craven and secured a position there - so I've come full circle! My desire to go into teaching came from the brilliant teachers I had at South Craven and a university opportunity to return to complete a research project with Sixth Form, alongside gaining some initial work experience.
What advice would you give to your 17-year-old self?
Have more fun! I’ve always put a lot of pressure on myself and in a way, it’s helped me get to where I am today. I have a strong work ethic and greatly enjoy what I do, however now I have more responsibilities and less time to spend with friends and family so I would definitely have done that more! Being in Sixth Form was probably my favourite part of school, you’re doing the subjects you really enjoy and gaining more independence, so enjoy it!
What are you most proud of?
My resilience and motivation throughout my academic career. There’s no doubt that a science degree is tough but, like I said, having a great support network is so important.
Completing my teacher training during a pandemic has definitely been a challenge, but the vast amount of skills I gained during this year will enable me to further develop as a teacher.