In the Biological & Biomedical Sciences department, we celebrate our graduate’s successes with them on graduation day but also as their journeys continue after they leave us. Once you become an alumni of Staffs and the Biology department you remain a part of our ever-growing family and we take joy in hearing from our alumni throughout their journeys. We value them and their thoughts on their experiences with us at Staffordshire University.
As part of our new series of Staffs BioSciences Graduate Stories, we’re pleased to introduce Dom who original studied our Biological Sciences BSc Hons course before transferring to our Biological Sciences MSci and graduating in 2018. Find out how Dom is getting on with his journey as he shares a little about himself and his experiences with us.
Tell us a little about what you have been doing since graduation?
Since graduation, I have further developed my ecological skills, gaining a position as an ecologist at an independent company. Through this position, I have completed first aid qualifications, an Ecological Clerks of Work course ran by CIEEM, and attained my Professionally Qualified Person CSCS Card, enabling me to work at a managerial level on construction sites. I have gained a position as a Field Officer for the Staffordshire Badger Conservation Group, undertaking rescues of badgers in danger and patrols of potential badger baiting or wildlife crime areas.
I am also returning to South Africa in early February to continue assisting with wildlife conservation and particularly rhino protection. I’m now in the process of organising my enrolment to Kosiçe University in Slovakia to complete my doctorate in veterinary medicine, with a focus on wildlife.
How did your time at Staffordshire University prepare you for life after graduation?
By having a high calibre of academic achievement and publications amongst staff meant I’m comfortable being around accomplished scientists.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Staffordshire University?
Going to Africa was the biggest moment of my life, and I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of the university.
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome and how did you overcome them, whilst you studied with us?
I had to overcome stress and anxiety. I took my lectures and practical’s as time away from rumination and overthinking and as a side effect, I feel I became more passionate about my learning and development.
Would you recommend your course to others? If so, why?
I would! I really enjoyed my course, particularly the amount of free reign my degree allowed me to take regarding module choice. I liked the assessment styles of some modules as they gave you a rather grand question which allowed you to tailor your answer to suit your passions and interests.
As part of your course you may have completed a work placement. If so, could you tell us a little about your experience?
For my undergraduate degree (before I changed to complete an MSci), I volunteered at a veterinary surgery. This became apparent in a second-year module, however as I had been already been volunteering there since I began university, I just continued with this. My Masters placement was to a wildlife reserve in South Africa. This was perhaps the most life-changing period in my whole life thus far. It confirmed what I want to do in my career and where I feel I need to be to make the most impact. I also made long lasting connections and I will never, ever be out of South Africa for too long!
Secret Stoke – Tell us about your favourite places in and around Stoke that student may not know about but should check out.
Just near to Stoke is a beautiful place called Knypersley Reservoir. The university’s Nature Reserve itself can be a rather beautiful walk also.
It was fantastic catching up with Dom and what he’s been getting up to since leaving Staffs. We’re very proud of Dom and our biology alumni’s in all their achievements.
If you would like to keep up to date with Dom and his journey, be sure to check out his professional Instagram page @exoticbiologist for more photographs of his travels and the integral work he’s involved with in South Africa, veterinary school and beyond!
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