Graduate profile
Heather Lapp

Heather Lapp

"Surrey gave me a more in-depth and wide-versed exposure to the microbiology field. I'd previously worked in microbiology, but the course expanded both my knowledge, and strengthened and grew my lab skills."

Course
Medical Microbiology MSc
Graduation year
2014

My course

I chose the UK for my studies (I'm from the USA) because my dad and grandma were British and I wanted to experience my heritage first-hand. Specifically, I chose the University of Surrey because I really liked the MSc Medical Microbiology course. It was different from similar programmes at other universities: two years of courses plus a two-year research project.

I really enjoyed working with my project supervisor and head of the programme at the time, Dr Dany Beste. She was great to learn from and I'm glad I had to opportunity to work with her! In addition, I found the guest lecturers to be a great part of the programme. We were able to hear from so many different people across many microbiological fields.

Throughout the course, I learned to become very independent. I moved to Surrey and the UK knowing no one, so I had to learn to get things done without a parent or friend by my side at first.

My most memorable moment

I have two most memorable moments! The first would be the moment I completed my viva for my dissertation. I couldn't believe it - after all that work, it was done! I was both proud and relieved. My second happiest was my time as President and Captain of the Surrey Angels, the University of Surrey's cheerleading team. We won two national university competitions and I couldn't have been more excited and proud of my team!

"I found the guest lecturers to be a great part of the programme. We were able to hear from so many different people across many microbiological fields."

My career and development

I currently work in biotech in a research and development microbiology team in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA; my company develops diagnostic products to help improve patient health. I love the science we have developed and even more so I really enjoy working with my team and the company as a whole. It is great to have amazing co-workers who are all working towards the same goals as you!

Surrey gave me a more in-depth and wide-versed exposure to the microbiology field. I'd previously worked in microbiology, but the course expanded both my knowledge, and strengthened and grew my lab skills.

My advice

Don't just learn from books - the lab skills, the hard hands-on skills are critical to succeeding in science. Employers like candidates who were good students, yes, but they love candidates with demonstrated skills who know how to design experiments and solve problems with those skills.

 

Discover more about our postgraduate biosciences and medicine courses, including our MSc Medical Microbiology course.

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