Ioana Mistreanu

How I knew Leeds was the right place for me

I have chosen the University of Leeds after a couple of years of intensive research. For me, staying in Romania to study was not something I wanted to do because none of the local universities offered this course and I was feeling very confident in my interest and knowledge in genetics to know that is was the only thing I wanted to study. The University of Leeds is one of the top universities for Biological Sciences and that had a huge influence on my decision. Because I could not attend an open day, it was very useful that every information I needed, about accommodation, the course, the city, was very accessible and helped me made the right decision.

How I getting involved in University life and make great friends

In my first-year I was very shy, and I feel like I missed out a bit on what was going on around me, but I would like to think I have made up for that during my second and third year. I became a School Rep for Biology in my second year which gave me the opportunity to witness first hand how positive change takes place around the Faculty and the University upon effective communication between the student body and key staff as well as networking with other School Reps. During my third year, I am in the FoBSoc committee, our faculty’s official society. My role as the Faculty and Union Liaison enables me to keep our members updated with what is going on at all times, be it events or opportunities that are available for them. Although I am equally proud of these two achievements, what I am most proud of and definitely the “ultimate highlight” is the strong friendship that I built with some of my first-year flatmates. After 3 years, we still live together and get along just as well, which definitely contributed to my uni experience.

The libraries are one of the best facilities the University has to offer

Studying a scientific degree means that new discoveries are made on a daily basis, so books can be sometimes outdated. The library provides access to online journals and papers, so I can always be up to date with breakthrough discoveries in the fields that I am interested in, which helped me a lot through my degree. Because I find it difficult to concentrate at home when I revise, especially during exam seasons, I enjoy going to the library to study. Although it can be tricky to get a seat sometimes, it somehow motivates me to have an early start which has proven to work for me as I am exponentially more productive during the morning.

There are some many different societies I’ve been a part of

Throughout the years I have tried different societies such as Badminton, Belly Dancing, Yoga and the sessions were always a nice break from my studies. Because of health reasons, I am not longer an active member of those societies. Now I am focused on my academic society, FoBSoc, where I am also a committee member; FoBSoc is a great opportunity for me to help the society’s members, as well as to socialise with people from different courses in the faculty. 

The course structure helped me develop my interests

In first-year, all the students from the School of Biology will mainly attend the same core lectures which aim to bring everybody to the same level of knowledge. Although it can be a bit overwhelming at points, it helped me discover other areas of interest outside Genetics, such as Immunology, Animal Development or Conservation. Optional modules are amazing, and I have managed to tailor my degree to my interests, turning going into lectures a pleasure rather than a chore. 

I’m running for Education Offer in LUU Leadership Race 2019

Working closely with the Faculty and the Union during my time as a School Rep and Liaison and really enjoying networking with different people, I have decided that I want to take this to another level and run in the LUU Leadership Race 2019 for Education Officer, in order to enhance the educational experience of students not only in my faculty but to help students all around the University.

The Faculty and University are really understanding and supportive

At the end of my first year, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis which mainly affects the joints of my hands and fingers. Coming into my second year I was really stressed and panicked of how this would affect my studies but with the help of my personal tutor, the staff from SES and Disability Services, I am now able to continue my studies just like everybody else thanks to the support and guidance they have provided.