Name and course:

Homayra Shaikh, BSc Biological Sciences


Research Assistant, Aston University

Why did you choose to study at Aston?

I chose to study at Aston as I felt that I wouldn't just be another face among the masses, as I would perhaps be at a larger university. The smaller population at Aston helps makes it a community. Also, Aston is well renowned for its placements, and has a good city centre location.

How did the quality of teaching and student support enhance your time at Aston? 

The quality of teaching and support at Aston is second to none: the lecturers on my course constantly provided support and involved me with opportunities that have not only helped me to shape my plans for a future career but have also enabled me to develop personally and professionally.

What was the highlight of your time at Aston? 

Studying an interesting course and making lifelong friends.

How do you feel your placement prepared you for your future career?

As I wish to pursue a career in scientific communication, my degree has equipped me with the skills to understand and explain scientific concepts. In addition, I have gained a wealth of transferable skills through planning, organising and carrying out experiments. The nature of scientific research with its ups and downs has taught me perseverance and dedication, which is imperative in any job role.

What was the highlight of your placement experience?

Gaining an understanding into the world of scientific research and engaging in science communication.

Were you involved in any student societies or extra-curricular activities?

I was involved in many public engagement and outreach sessions that added to my Aston experience such as the Big Bang Fair and Open Days. I also helped organise a lab themed competition called Labtathlon which was a great success.

What was the best thing about being a student in Birmingham?

Good links to the city centre and lots to do in Birmingham. Good food places!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying at Aston?

Actively seek out opportunities to get involved in things because you never know what good things they will lead to.

What would be your top recommendation to new students on what to do or see in Birmingham?

My top recommendation would be to check out the food scene as Birmingham has lots of amazing places to eat and a huge range of cuisines.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice as a first year student, what would it be?

Join more societies in the first year!

Biological Sciences BSc course page.