Why did you choose to take part in the STEM Summer Research programme at the University of Aberdeen?  

I chose to take part in the STEM Summer Research programme at the University of Aberdeen because it was a  great opportunity to have a hands-on learning experience in a research environment with direct supervision from my professor. I specifically chose University of Aberdeen because I am passionate about cancer research, and I was extremely interested in Professor Valerie Speirs research.

Amanda Hagedorn, Human Biology

 

What part of your experience of studying have you found most enjoyable/interesting?

For me, building a relationship with my professor and really getting to learn with independent leeway was an incredible part of this programme. My programme specifically was mostly dry research, so making the most of the data mining and graph building was important. Valerie Speirs, our professor, took the time to meet with us, explain things to us, and went above and beyond to make sure we were understanding the material, as did most of the IMS staff. It was also really interesting to see the wet lab work (IHC) go into fruition and to get to learn how to do a lab procedure I had never seen before.

Morgan Galer, Physiology

 

What have you enjoyed most about living in Aberdeen?

I have really enjoyed being able to experience a busy town, beautiful parks, a peaceful beach, and a small town all together in one city. No matter what mood you were in, there was a part of the city that would suit where you wanted to be.

Jessica Fattal, Neuroscience

Living in Aberdeen has been such a great experience. The city is big enough that there’s always something to do, but small enough that you can walk wherever you need or want to go. Our housing was a twenty-minute walk from the beach, which had amazing views, and from the city centre where there is everything you could imagine - a movie theatre, nightlife, restaurants, shopping etc. Being so far from home, it was also comforting that Aberdeen is an extremely safe city. After being here for only a week, Aberdeen already felt like a home away from home. 

Amanda Hagedorn, Human Biology

 

What would you say to someone thinking of coming to study at Aberdeen?

Do it! You will not regret your decision. Not only is the research opportunity amazing, but the city, and country are amazing. The locals are always friendly, and the staff at the University of Aberdeen is supportive and encouraging throughout your studies. Take advantage of your time in the city throughout the week, and plan two or three trips to Europe or other parts of the UK on the weekends while you’re here. My friends and I travelled to Ibiza, London, the highlands, and Glasgow, and it was amazing.

Amanda Hagedorn, Human Biology

 

How do you think participating in this programme will help you in your future studies or career?

I’ve always wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor and put the idea of research on the back burner.

This programme has given me a hands-on experience in a research lab and shown me both the dry and wet side of lab. Though I still wish to go to medical school, get an MD, and practice medicine in the future, I think my viewpoint has shifted and given me more interest in possibly specializing in a cancer dominated field. Not only has it intensified my want to go to medical school, but it’s also a great stepping stone for getting into a permanent lab at my home university and will be great on medical school applications – so it’s a learning experience as well as a CV builder. This programme also exposed me to a different culture and a lot of different people which will help me in the work environment later as well as with patient interaction for all future professional endeavours.

Morgan Galer, Physiology