Hometown: Australia

I am originally from Australia and after leaving school, I went on to do an apprenticeship in hospitality with a view to one day opening my own restaurant or café after I had done some travelling. My travels brought me to the UK and I spent a few years working in restaurants and bars, but I realised that I wanted to do something different. I was still interested in food, but I was keen for a more scientific career. As my previous qualifications were not science-focused, I did a one year Access course at college which gave me the qualifications to apply for the BSc (Hons) Nutrition at QMU.

"I was... able to secure a three month studentship at University of Edinburgh where I did some research into depression - which was a brilliant experience [...] It not only gave me good experience, but it also meant that I could see first hand what was involved in laboratory work and real research."
Kylie Conroy

The content of Years One and Two of QMU’s degrees in Nutrition, Human Biology and Applied Pharmacology is the same and provides a grounding in science. This is great as it means that you can refocus your studies if you enjoy one aspect more than the other. Enjoying lab work, I decided to change to the Human Biology degree and I’m glad that I changed: I really enjoyed it and although I found it challenging, I believe that if you put in the work you get the results and I did – a First Class Honours. The modules were very interesting and well presented and I really enjoyed the written assignments and delving deep into a particular topic. I was also able to secure a three month studentship at University of Edinburgh where I did some research into depression - which was a brilliant experience. Similar undergraduate studentships are offered in universities throughout the UK and I would highly recommend doing one. It not only gave me good experience, but it also meant that I could see first hand what was involved in laboratory work and real research. Also, through my contacts there I was able to do some further research that formed the basis of my honours project.

Towards the end Year Four, I started thinking about my future. As I had enjoyed laboratory work and researching for my honours project, I quite fancied carrying on to do a PhD. QMU were offering studentships for various topics of research, so I applied and was accepted. Between graduating and starting my PhD, I went back to work in the lab at Edinburgh University. After finishing my PhD, I’d like to work in industrial research and take a break from studying, with the hope of further study after I’ve gained some work experience. With the changing economy though, who knows what lies ahead. I am just going to finish my PhD and then take it from there. I am keeping my eye on the job market though.