What first inspired you to pursue science at third level?
In school, the sciences were always my strongest subjects. I didn’t really think about it too much, I just knew from day one that I would like to continue studying science at third level. My parents will say that I was quite a curious child..always asking questions and wanting to know why! I really didn’t have a particular epiphany..for me, studying science was just always on the cards!
In Leaving Cert, Physics, Chemistry and Maths were my favourite subjects. I loved studying these topics, particularly Chemistry. Trinity had an open day for just Maths and Physics related courses so I went to this in November of 5th year. This was where I first heard about Nanoscience and it just seemed like the perfect option – I didn’t have to choose between them, I could do a course that incorporated them all!
What has been the most interesting aspect of your third level studies so far?
Honestly, I have met so many interesting people along the way! As an undergraduate I did two summer internships, one in Trinity and one in Cambridge. I gained a lot of research experience from these but also a lot of new friends. In addition, since starting my PhD I have attended two courses; one in Rome and one in Grenoble. I met other PhD students from Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany..and the list goes on! I am still in contact with a lot of them and we will hopefully meet again at some time in the future. It really is fantastic to meet other budding scientists from different countries. We can learn from each other and also make a lot of new friends.
What does the future hold for you career wise in a perfect world?
To be honest, I love the unknown aspect that comes along with a career in science. You could potentially end up anywhere – in any part of the world! I don’t have an image of what my future may hold, even in the perfect world. And to me, that’s really exciting.
What advice would you give to a young person still at school who is considering a future in science?
Science can take you places. I would highly recommend studying a science-related course at university level to any student that enjoys Biology, Physics or Chemistry in Secondary School. There are so many options out there and many general science courses where students can really discover what areas they are most interested in. Of course, studying science at university will require long hours in the library and a lot of dedication! But it’s such an exciting career path that can take you anywhere.