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Maria Kariuki

Course: Analytical Science and Instrumentation

Duration: 2017-2018

WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE WARWICK?

Well, I was working with the National Trust, I was trying to save some money to study my master's degree. 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY AT WARWICK?

So, the reason I chose to study at work is because I had researched multiple universities and what their degrees offered and Warwick met my checkboxes, everything that was offered in the degree was everything I was interested in learning. 

WHAT WERE YOUR INITIAL VIEWS ARRIVING AT WARWICK?

My initial views arriving at Warwick, I didn’t have a specific mindset going into it, but I would say probably with my experience with the MCDT, I thought they were very welcoming. Some previous students showed me around the campus, the facilities, gave me tips, where to eat, where to go shopping. And I think that made me feel more at home, having never been to Coventry before. 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MODULE?

My favourite module is electrochemistry. I think it was just down to my interest, but also to the way it was taught, it was led by Professor Julie MacPherson and Patrick Unwin and they are top in their league. And their teaching style was very personal. It was very hands on, step by step learning. And that just is more of my way of understanding information. 

WHAT FACILITY DID YOU APPRECIATE THE MOST AT WARWICK?

So there are a couple of facilities I appreciated during my master's here and I say the postgraduate hub, I think it was sort of a safe haven for us because after lecture's, our minds would be completely stressed and would go and doodle in the relaxation room, there is beanbags, the lights. It was amazing. And of course, if you wanted extra study spaces, that was available to us. Now, as a PhD student, I'd say all the instrumental facilities are my favourite and just having the access to a range of techniques. 

WHAT SKILLS DID YOU DEVELOP?

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY DURING YOUR TIME AT WARWICK?

Well, not so much at the time, but now my favourite memory is a bunch of us in our offices trying to finish up our assignments and then having to run really quickly to the bus stop to catch the last bus home. That was pretty funny. 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW AND HOW DID YOUR DEGREE HELP?

I am doing my PhD in analytical sciences and my master's degree, I would say, helped me learn how to work independently. It helped me grow my research skills like this. Doing a Ph.D., there's a lot you don't know and a lot you have to search for yourself. The information is out there. You need to go dig in. And if it's not, then you need to try and experiment and find it yourself. And I think that doing my master's helped me learn how to do that. 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING STUDYING AT WARWICK?

So, for anyone who wants to study at Warwick, it's a bit cheesy, but what I'd say is come with heart and come with a fighting spirit. I think university has a lot of challenges, but what I really liked about Warwick is that there's so much support given to you, everyone wants you to succeed, be it your fellow students, the professors, admins, and not just, they don't just provide you with educational resources, also provide you with personal resources to help you cope with the pressure. Like, you know, like I mentioned, the relaxation room, your lectures are recorded. You can always go back and watch. There are multiple facilities, top facilities that industries pay for that are available to you. One other thing I actually appreciate about Warwick is degrees a very multidisciplinary. So, you apply for one degree, but you intermingle with so many people from different degrees that you end up with a wide range of skill sets and that comes in handy. Myself, for example, I am an analytical scientist and now I work for a synthetic polymer chemistry group. I have picked up skills and synthesizing polymers skills and special characterisation techniques used within that field, and that just helps me broaden my career perspectives after my Ph.D. 

So good luck! I hope this was helpful and hopefully we will see you in Warwick this year! bye.