What have you done in addition to your degree to enhance your employability and what do you feel you’ve gained from this?
My degree is in Chemistry with Extended Studies in Europe French, which gave me the unique opportunity to study a science along with French language. Last year I was very fortunate to study in the very prestigious École Normale Supérieure Paris.
I got to work with people from all around the world at different projects and language presentations. This has benefited me greatly as it has boosted my self-confidence, my communication skills as well as my ability to work in a team with people of different nationalities. Although working in a team is important I have also strived whilst working independently. This in fact has made me more responsible as when studying abroad in new and unfamiliar surroundings it can be quite difficult to adapt.
I also did an internship in a laboratory in the suburbs of Paris. This again is a great asset to me as it allowed me to work among French people and help out a PhD student from Tunisia. It was my first time working in a lab that wasn’t at University. I got the opportunity to choose my own project that I was interested in and undertake a 4 week internship there. I worked independently as well as in a team. My work was monitored throughout the 4 weeks and then had to give a presentation to my fellow university students.
I have no doubt that my year abroad will stand out and benefit me greatly when I go to seek future employment after graduation. I would love a job that uses both my strong scientific background and linguistic skills to help develop a company/strategy or whatever I may be working on. My year abroad has motivated me to become more active at QUB making the most of my University experience taking advantage of all the facilities and opportunities available. I have took on extra-curricular Advanced French Business classes allowing me to get more practise with my French as well as volunteered at international fairs to talk about my year abroad and encourage other students to do the same.
Making use of Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen’s
I have used QUB’s career guidance facilities by arranging appointments with the career advisors who have been very helpful and offered further assistance with my queries. As well as this I have found the student guidance centre to be very helpful when I was organising my year abroad as they pointed me in the right direction as to what had to be done.
Any advice for other Queen's students?
I think study abroad would benefit every student and should be strongly encouraged. I highly recommend that future QUB students will have the opportunity to study/work abroad as it will open their mind to global and cultural differences.
QUB is a great University with state of the art facilities in sciences, arts and sports. It has a very welcoming and outgoing social atmosphere with their students. There are tonnes of societies and groups available that will have something for everyone. Students should take advantage of the facilities, societies and groups available, to become an active QUB student and most importantly make the most of their University experience.