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Biological SciencesOur alumni

Carly Jennings BSc Biology, 2011

Trainee Clinical Physiologist

Carly Jennings's Photo

BSc Biology graduate Carly tells us about her experience at Southampton.

Teaching at Southampton is research-led, which was a big selling point for me. My course also taught me self-directed learning and time management, skills that are valuable in my job.

1. What was your degree when you studied at Southampton and when did you graduate?

I studied BSc Biology at Southampton, which commenced in 2008, graduating after three years in June 2011.

2. Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

I chose to study at Southampton for a variety of reasons. Southampton was ranked very highly in the league tables; the fact that teaching is research led at Biological Sciences was a big selling point for me. When visiting the University during Open Days, I instantly felt a comfortable atmosphere that I could easily see myself studying and living in for three years.

3. Where do you work and what is your job role?

I work at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust at the Harefield Hospital in Middlesex, which is a specialist heart and lung centre. I am a Trainee Clinical Physiologist in the respiratory department and my role involves carrying out a wide range of physiological investigations including pulmonary function, exercise, oesophageal and sleep studies on respiratory, cardiac, and transplant patients.

4. What aspects of your degree do you use in your day-to-day job?

Aspects of my degree that I use in my job include a variety of laboratory skills I gained from the practicals I did in my modules, such as precision of pipetting solutions, good laboratory practice and patience. The biggest skill I have gained is communication, which is a vital component in my day-to-day job; speaking clearly to patients when talking them through the various tests I get them to do. I often have to change tone depending on the patient I am testing. It’s thanks to my degree that I’m able to do this, as these communication skills were required when presenting findings in my research projects.

5. Did you enjoy your time at Southampton - what memories stand out from your time here?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Southampton and could not have asked for a better university experience. There are so many great memories which stand out from my time there. The University was great for encouraging a balance between studying, socialising and extracurricular involvement and no matter what your interests, the Union was never short of something to get involved in. My fondest memories would be those I shared with the like-minded people I met and formed friendships with doing the activities I love doing the most!

6. How did the University help you prepare for employment?

The University offers numerous resources for career development and I personally really benefited from the workshops they ran on CV writing in preparation for job applications as well as how to best sell yourself at an interview. My experience at University has also supplied me with invaluable life skills, such as independence, self-directed learning and essential time management which are skills I highly value in my current job and for my future employment.

7. What advice would you give to current students in order to help them get one step ahead of the competition?

To get one step ahead of the competition, I would advise current students to make the most use of the abundant societies that Southampton has to offer and really get involved in all aspects of the University experience alongside the degree you are studying. I think it is really important to show employers that you are well rounded and that you have more to offer than someone else who has the same degree as you. Being part of a club or society also gives you invaluable skills which you can use to enhance your CV.

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