Student profile
Katie O'Brien, BSc (Hons) Microbiology

Katie O’Brien

"I enjoy the flexibility of my course. I've been able to choose a large proportion of my modules, tailoring my degree to my interests."

Placement company
Washington State University, USA

Why I chose Surrey

There were a few different reasons I decided to study at Surrey. The location being in Surrey and close to London really appealed to me, and the fact it was a contained campus university. The University also had the most placement opportunities out of the universities I had looked at.

I came to an open day and it cemented the decision to come here, it was a really sunny day and I sat by the lake for lunch, I just loved the feel of the campus. I also loved the labs, most that I had seen before were dark and dingy, but the labs on campus have huge windows so let a lot of light in.

My course

I enjoy the flexibility of my BSc (Hons) Microbiology course. I've been able to choose a large proportion of my modules, tailoring my degree to my interests. The lecturers are great. In my experience they have gone above and beyond to support me throughout the course. The facilities are fantastic too – even better now we have the brand new labs at the Innovation for Health Learning Laboratory

My placement

I went on a Professional Training placement abroad at Washington State University, USA. I worked in a rehabilitation facility alongside patients and it was really fulfilling work. I was able to work on the study from its conception, meaning I was involved in study planning which is a really valuable skill, as well as study management.

I would definitely recommend a placement to other students because you learn so many new skills and are much more competitive for jobs upon graduation. Also, you are given the opportunity to experience living somewhere completely different in the world, and immerse yourself in new culture. I was able to travel to so many places that I would not have been able to without this opportunity.

"I worked in a rehabilitation facility alongside patients and it was really fulfilling work."

My life at Surrey

I decided to join the SnowSports Club in my final year and I’m so glad I did. The social aspect is great and I've learnt to ski! I am also the head editor of The Stag, our student newspaper, which means I am really involved with the Students' Union.

On campus I absolutely love Lakeside Coffee Shop - I probably go there twice a day! They make great homemade veggie food and their coffee is really cheap but great!

My career and development

I’ve learned so much over the past few years through lectures and working in research. I started here as a student but I feel like I am graduating as a scientist.

Find out more about our microbiology course

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