The fourth year project really was the highlight of the whole degree

Oliver Parry
Oliver Parry
Undergraduate student
Chemistry MChem
Oliver enjoyed committing a large amount of time to his research project in his final year, and developed a strong scientific intuition throughout his degree.

What made you want to study your course?

I have always been a technically minded person. I enjoyed physics and chemistry a lot but my maths was never the strongest so I chose to go to chemistry for higher education which, in retrospect, was a very good decision.

What made you decide to study at the University of Sheffield?

Honestly it was quite a short notice decision, I didn't expect to do too well on my A Levels but ended up smashing them and went through adjustment. I'd heard good things about the University of Sheffield and Sheffield itself and so decided to apply for the course on results day.

What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?

Writing my masters thesis. I really enjoy whittling away at a task over a few months and perfecting something. My thesis was a good opportunity to do this. I also enjoyed the practical components of my project too but pulling all the data together and making a good piece of work was really the best bit for me.

What skills have you developed during your course?

The most significant thing I have learned is probably just scientific intuition. While I still ask questions when I'm unsure of results or something, the biggest development in the way I approach work is that I feel confident in finding my own solutions to things as best as possible. Obviously I still consult my seniors when it came to potentially hazardous chemicals, et cetera, but when it comes to analysis and interpretation of data I feel capable of just doing it on my own. Other skills would be pretty self explanatory for my degree: analytical thinking and approaches to problem solving, lab techniques, scientific writing.

What would you say to a student thinking about studying your course at Sheffield?

From what I know the course has been restructured from what I did, but I would say just make sure to not stress about the teaching labs, take your time and don't overthink things. Also definitely do the integrated masters if possible. The fourth year project really was the highlight of the whole degree for me.

What are you planning to do after your degree?

I am currently a recruitment consultant for chemical and life science industry. It is a job I enjoy quite a bit and pays quite well too, although I am definitely considering doing a PhD around crystallography in future to go onto a more academic career.

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