From biology to chemistry
Before I came to university, I was studying to be a vet. However during my work experience I realised I was more interested in the chemicals being used to treat the animals rather than the biology. There were so many different combinations of compounds and elements that create so many different things that we use every day.
My favourite course module was on bioinorganic chemistry. We looked at how the elements in the periodic table interact within your body; iron in your blood or calcium for your bones. That's what led me towards the area of research I'm in at the moment.
Moving into the unknown
What drove me towards doing my third year here rather than going on placement, was that we actually got the chance to do novel research. Everything up to that point in undergraduate labs had all been tried and tested. In our second semester in third year, we actually got to do research no-one has really looked at before.
My third year supervisor said that what keeps her going is when you discover something new, you're the only person in the world potentially who knows that piece of information. I thought that was pretty cool!
The jump from undergrad to postgrad, it's not massive, but there is a lot more independence and personal drive to do your own research, to look into things that interest you, to keep on top of literature, to attend conferences and discuss with other people in your area how their research is going. It's a lot more full on, but it's definitely enjoyable.