Microbiology and virology with year in industry student at University of Leeds

Rebecca Surtees

The Course

“I found the course really interesting and the lecturers were very enthusiastic and eager to answer questions. The virology labs at Leeds are large and very well equipped.”

Year in Industry

As part of my degree I did a year in industry at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida. I worked in a fairly small, newly started genetics lab whose main focus was studying the genetics of a neurodegenerative disorder called fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). The year I spent at the Mayo clinic undoubtedly helped me in my degree enormously, as I gained very valuable practical lab experience and got to know what is required for all to run smoothly. I learned to work as part of a team and became a lot more confident in handling samples and carrying out experiments in the lab.

Post-Graduate Study

Working at the Mayo clinic fired my passion and enthusiasm for research and I am currently doing a PhD at the University of Leeds.  After my Year in Industry the thought of undertaking research seemed a lot less scary and I was enthusiastic about working in the lab. My degree has definitely helped with the work I do now, as it has provided a solid knowledge base on which to build over the course of my PhD.

Top Tips

Don’t be too intimidated to ask the lecturers questions – they are very approachable and helpful. Make sure you get involved and take up opportunities such as the year in industry and the student societies. Overall, the University of Leeds has some amazing opportunities, there are people of all different backgrounds here, and it is very easy to find someone you get on with. I’ve made some amazing friends and had some great times.“