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Jazmyn Palmer MChem Chemistry, 2015

Teacher, Bournemouth School for Boys

Jazmyn Palmer's Photo

Without a doubt my favourite part of my degree was spending 6 months in New Zealand during my fourth year. The placement entailed working in a PhD research lab in the University of Otago. The decision to go to New Zealand was completely mine and the University staff were absolutely excellent in helping the dream become a reality.

I always had a passion for maths and science at school and I enjoyed chemistry the most because I was able to use the skills we learnt in real-life applications. I started to realise that chemistry was absolutely fundamental to everything around us, so I chose to study it at degree level.

When I was a teenager we would often go on weekends away as a family, Southampton became one of those destinations due to the appeal of West Quay shopping centre and its proximity to the New Forest. I really loved the city and after visiting the University, I fell in love with the campus. Southampton offers the perfect mix between a city and a campus university, I like to think of it as a hybrid of the two. When you’re on campus everything you need is within a 5 minute walk; cafes, lecture buildings, the library, the gym and of course the student pub. However, you don’t live on campus, which is really nice, it gives you the opportunity to live out in the city and have space from where you work. Southampton itself is a perfect location to be based at, everything you need is in the city and for weekends out the beach at Bournemouth and the New Forest are only short train rides away.

Without a doubt my favourite part of my degree was spending 6 months in New Zealand during my fourth year. The placement entailed working in a PhD research lab in the University of Otago. The decision to go to New Zealand was completely mine and the University staff were absolutely excellent in helping the dream become a reality. It is an experience which I highly recommend to anyone, you not only develop as a chemist but also as a person. I believe that by uprooting myself for the 6 months in New Zealand I developed a much greater inner confidence in myself which I have been able to put to good use in my new career. It also allowed me to have the opportunity to experience first-hand what doing a PhD would be like, as much as I loved working in the lab I decided that it wasn’t what I wanted to do right at that moment. I decided that the career which I really wanted to pursue was teaching, especially teaching A-level chemistry. After having had such an amazing 4 years at Southampton University I chose to stay on and complete my teacher training here too.

I am currently working at Bournemouth School for Boys. I have been particularly taken with the pastoral side of schools and would therefore love to be a Head of Year or other similar role one day. I also feel really passionately about promoting STEM in schools so that students are aware of what amazing careers are out there that use science hence allowing them to make informed choices about their A-levels and degree choices. Some of my favourite moments of teaching so far are when I am able to make students see the link between what they learn at school and their own lives. More often than not, students only view what they learn at school as something they need to know for an exam, it’s brilliant when you can get them to see how it is relevant to them and the importance of it on their lives. I absolutely love that!

 

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