In the Biological & Biomedical Sciences department we always want to hear from our students throughout their course as we value them and their thoughts and experiences with us at Staffordshire University.
As part of our new series of Staffs BioSciences Student Stories, we’re pleased to introduce Thaleia who is currently on our BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology course. Find out how Thaleia is getting on with her studies as she shares a little about herself and her experiences with us.
I’m from Greece and live in Stoke-on Trent. I work for a hospitality agency located in Cardiff. My only family in the UK is my boyfriend who lives in Cardiff, so I spend most of my free time volunteering, reading books and judging crime-related movies based on my knowledge.
Why did you choose to study Forensic Biology with Staffordshire University?
Staffordshire University was one of my first five choices due to factors like the RSB (Royal Society of Biology) accreditation, the high employability rates and the high ranking in biosciences. I received positive answers from all five Universities I applied for, so I had to think of further factors in order to decide which one to choose. Staffordshire University seemed more demanding in terms of skills that we will have to develop throughout the course, therefore I accepted the challenge.
What has been the best part of the course so far?
If I had to choose only one answer, then it would be my development in the last 1 year and a half. I can’t believe that I’ve managed to obtain so much knowledge and skills in such little time. My professional development during this course so far has also helped me improve my personal life, by developing time management skills I’ve reduced my anxiety level.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome and how have you overcome them, while studying with us?
One of the biggest challenges I overcame was the imaginary language barrier. I’m the kind of person who likes to understand and to be understood, I was scared to express myself. Today, I believe I’m the person who always has something to ask or say in lectures without the fear of saying something wrong (grammatically or giving the wrong answer). In order to achieve this, I had to talk a lot with lecturers, my tutor, student support services, reading about self-confidence and finally I had to practice (a lot!). This year I went further by becoming a STEM Ambassador, student representative and by volunteering on small events such as presentations given by different lecturers for high school or primary school outreach or big events such as the Big Biology Day. During this time, I’ve kept in mind one single phrase from the very first lecture I had: ” There is no I can’t do it, there is only I can’t do it YET!”.
As part of your course you will be completing a work placement, could you tell us a little about where you will be going and what you hope to gain from it?
I’ll be carrying out my placement this summer in a coroner’s office. I expect to learn more about post-mortem examination, procedures used on handling the deceased, gaining some immunity to the sight of dead bodies and apply what I have learned from modules I’ve taken as part of my degree and slightly different circumstances.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans so far include a Masters degree, possibly genetics related and a PhD while I will keep volunteering for science related events within the University and to experience different related fields through placements.
Would you recommend studying a course with Staffs to others?
I would recommend Staffs to people who love science but also have the desire to know a bit more about forensics. I would also recommend this course for those who are not sure which one they would prefer. Personally, I was more interested in forensics and policing when I applied for this course, though I ended up loving biology more!
Secret Stoke – Tell us about your favourite places in and around Stoke that other students may not know about but should check out.
Hanley Park! It’s not a secret, though it is one of the best places for walking, especially for people experiencing anxiety, walking dogs or have children. There is a playground for younger children, plenty of space for a dog to run, fresh air to take in and relaxing atmosphere for anyone who needs a small break.