Beth joined the Liverpool Life Sciences UTC in September 2013, as one of the first cohort of students. This was a considerable risk as she was the highest performing student in her current school.
Beth explains the reasons behind her decision:
I decided to study at Liverpool Life Sciences for lots of reasons, but the most important was probably the passion of the staff. They were willing to do so much for you, not only to achieve your goals, but to discover goals you didn’t even know you had yet.
Beth was very unsure of which career to follow and spent extensive amounts of time with the Professional Guidance Leader in the UTC exploring a variety of science based opportunities.
It wasn’t too long before Beth was challenging the expectations of staff with regard to the academic standard A level students were able to achieve. For example, under the supervision of Professor David Hornby, University of Sheffield, she worked on experiments on DNA and the genome performing at the level of a final year undergraduate.
I felt much more integrated into the community of Life Sciences than I had been at my previous school. This translated directly into lessons and teaching, in which I felt the staff knew the students better, and cared more about their individual goals. In addition, the way in which I was learning in projects initially seemed a little daunting in terms of the level of independence, but it soon became a great aspect of my education.
Beth also spent a considerable amount of time on work placement to explore a variety of career opportunities. She completed a clinical work experience placement at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, volunteered at Aintree Hospital and participated in a day of hands on surgical training with the Association of Surgeons in Training.
Beth was also selected to complete a four-week placement in pharmacology at RedX Pharma, a drug discovery and development company where she was able to work on the development of oncology drugs, enhancing her chemistry and biology skills as well as working within a team to complete an industrial project.
Beth reflected on these opportunities:
The UTC instilled me with both a professional and academic view of science, which enabled me to decide the direction I wanted to take my future from an informed perspective.
The range of experiences enabled Beth to make a decision about her career plans and led her to apply for medicine at some of the most competitive universities in the UK. The combination of project based learning, master classes, work placements, enrichment and volunteering opportunities coordinated by the UTC, helped Beth to develop her leadership and communication skills to the exceptional level that is required to succeed in the competitive career of medicine.
Everybody at Life Sciences UTC supported me immensely with my application to study medicine at University. This included help with numerous work placements and individual UCAS support, alongside enabling me to get beyond the necessary grades.
Beth was successful in being offered places at a number of medical schools and accessed her first choice, the University of St Andrews. She is now enjoying the challenges of life as a medical student and looking ahead to what her future may hold:
I am hoping to graduate and continue my postgraduate training as a Junior Doctor in the NHS. Currently, I aspire to become an oncologist but there’s a long way to go yet.