In2scienceUK Alumna Phoebe on her University experience

I attended school in South London, where I studied Geography, Biology and Chemistry at A-level. At 17 I had an interest in Biology but no idea where a degree in Biology could take me or what kind of career I could have. I was the first from my family to attend university and was hugely excited for my placement with In2scienceUK.

I spent two weeks at Kings College London in a Developmental Neurobiology lab shadowing a PhD and Post-Doc student. I loved it! During this time, I learnt about the work the lab was doing and was given the opportunity to carry out my own mini experiments alongside them. My time in the lab meant I was able to take my interest in Biology beyond the classroom and I was given the support and platform to experience science in a way my school could never offer me.  

After I completed my A-levels I ended up going to the University of Oxford to study Human Sciences, and I have loved the last three years there. I had huge support from the university (both educational and financial), joined multiple societies and was even elected as the President of my college.  

The work was challenging, but I was in an environment where I flourished. In my last year, I won an award from the university that funded a trip abroad to conduct my own research. I was hoping to go to Harvard over summer to further explore my dissertation topic, but unfortunately it did not happen this year (all COVID-19’s fault). Instead I have my fingers crossed for 2021.  

I am leaving university with a first-class degree and a huge network of supportive, talented friends. I didn’t think Oxford was for me, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time there, despite many hours in the library. My placement with In2scienceUK opened up the world of research, and in September I will be starting a DTP (Doctoral Training Partnership) to complete a PhD at Kings College London. I am a bit nervous, but very excited too, and this will also be in the same building I visited for work experience back when I was 17.  

If you are currently in Year 12, don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t got everything sorted (I am still figuring it out too) but take every opportunity you can! I am forever grateful to In2scienceUK for providing me with that first “real-life” experience in a lab, and it has shaped my future career in science.