Student profile
Rui Miguel Abrantes da Silva

Rui Miguel Abrantes da Silva

"A Professional Training placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain practical experience of what you're learning. It also enhances many personal skills and qualities which will be very valuable when you graduate."

Placement company

University College London

Choosing Surrey

The first thing that really stuck out to me was the campus. The moment I first stepped onto campus, something about Surrey just felt right. Although I still can’t pinpoint it, it made me feel at home.

On first impressions, I was very impressed and excited by Surrey. The campus felt both spacious and cosy. The people were really welcoming and friendly and the staff made every effort to make my initial visit very pleasant. I distinctly remember a moment during my open day where I said that Surrey couldn’t take one wrong step. I was really impressed.

My course

I’ve always been fascinated by the human body and took any chance I had to learn about its inner workings. Still today, I’m surprised by just how clever the human body is and how adaptable it is to everything in its surroundings. Studying biochemistry has allowed me to develop a way of viewing the world around me that no other subject could replicate.

On my course, I really enjoy the choice of modules that are available, especially as you progress into the third year because the course structure allows you to format your degree pathway in a way that complements your interests. I think that the teaching staff are all excellent at what they do and show a fantastic enthusiasm for their subject.

My placement

I spent my Professional Training placement with a research team at University College London (UCL).

For the first few months, I worked from home and reviewed published literature in order to compile a fact-file on a protein of interest for an ongoing project in the laboratory. In the later months, I worked as a research assistant by engaging with the day-to-day tasks of a PhD student. My main task involved managing the culturing of mammalian cell lines, whilst also aiding experiments being worked on by my supervisor.

I think a Professional Training placement is a fantastic opportunity to not only gain practical experience of what you are learning in your lectures but also to gain an appreciation of what it is to work in the science field outside of the academic environment. I also think that the placement greatly enhances many personal skills and qualities which will be very valuable when you graduate.

My experience at Surrey and the resources to which I've had access, have had a valuable impact on my employability and made me confident that I possess a fantastic set of skills to ensure that I can be successful upon graduating.

Life at Surrey

During my time at Surrey, I have taken part in the Surrey Stage Crew, Stag TV and LGBTQ+ societies. These three societies have made my time at university extremely enjoyable as I've met some of my best friends and had some of my most memorable moments.

I lived in university accommodation during my first year and am doing so again during my final year. I think my time in accommodation has been enjoyable and has allowed me to meet some excellent people. I’ve so far lived with people from seven different countries which has allowed me to develop an appreciation for many cultures and ways of living, which will no doubt influence me for the rest of my life.

Looking forward

I have changed tremendously during my time at Surrey. My view on culture, science, people and even myself has progressed so much over time and all that has happened because Surrey provides a space that allows for personal development and growth. No doubt that meeting so many people from so many backgrounds has influenced the change that has taken place.