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Claire Allin

BSc (hons) Forensic Science

Why did you choose to study Forensic Science at Northumbria University?

I have always been interested in science, and I found the mix of biology and chemistry involved in the course appealing.  I chose to study at Northumbria because it’s a good university and it’s close to home.

Which company did you spend your placement with?

International Paint (Akzo Nobel), as the name suggests it’s a paint company with factories, offices and labs all over the world; I am based in the analytical department in felling.

Has the placement benefited you? If so how?

I have learned a lot about analytical chemistry over the course of the year; I have gained new skills in report writing, lab work and using/understanding the instruments.  As well as all the practical skills and experience I have for the future I have made some really good friends who I plan on staying in contact with after my placement ends.

I really think the biggest benefit of all is the confidence boost; at the start of my placement I was very nervous.  I was scared that I wouldn’t manage a full time job and that I didn’t know enough to do the work required of me.  But once I started it wasn’t scary at all I was accepted as a member of the team and there was always somebody round who was more than happy to help me out if I was a little lost.  I now know that I can manage and because I have some first hand experience it won’t be so scary in the future.  One thing that did take a while to get used to was the 8.30am starts five days a week, not like university at all.   

Would you recommend a placement to others, if so why?

Yes. It’s a great experience, and it’s a good way of finding out if that’s the job you want to do after you finish your degree.

Was the level of support from the university and staff good?

There is always somebody to help when help is needed.

How would you sum up your time at Northumbria University so far?

I enjoyed my first two years at the university and I am looking forward to going back in my final year. Northumbria has a lot going on there is always something to do.

What would you like to do when you graduate?  How can Northumbria University help you achieve this if possible?

At the moment I am not sure, there are a lot of options, a Masters or PhD maybe.

What is the most interesting thing about your degree?

The variety of modules, it's not just chemistry, there is a bit of law a bit of biology/genetics, it helps keep my attention.

Do you have any comments you would like to add about your time at Northumbria, or on Placement?

I have found both to be worthwhile; I love my course and have enjoyed my placement.  I will miss International Paint when I leave but I will never forget my time here.

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