Having completed my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Manchester University, I set about becoming an accountant. Though there were various perks to the job, after 3 years, I realised that what it offered as a career was not what I wanted. I went back to University to build upon and extend what I had learnt by applying to (and being accepted upon) the Space Physiology & Health MSc at King´s College London.
This course is a specialist subject and I was very impressed that all the topics were taught to me by the world-leading experts (many from NASA and ESA in addition to researchers and space operations contractors). They really helped to give me the practical and commerce skills to pursue a career within the space science industry.
The course included a week at RAF Henlow, where we were the main investigators in a trial of oxygen delivery equipment to prevent hypoxia for helicopter pilots in the Middle East. We also spent a week at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany where we were given lectures and practical tasks which included a guided tour of the whole centre as well as being able to perform experiments on the short-arm centrifuge of the German Space Agency.
Though the majority of the year I was based at Guy´s Campus in London Bridge, I, along with three others, was also lucky enough to go to the Microgravity Centre in Brazil to carry out research projects in the summer. Other students went to countries such as Russia, France, Germany and Austria. The travel expenses and some part of the accommodation costs were kindly covered by the University.
Now, I am looking forward to starting a one-year contract as a Life Scientist as part of the ESA Young Graduate Trainee scheme in Cologne at the European Astronaut Centre, which I hope will be the start of my career in space science. This course has given me opportunities and experiences that no other course could offer which has given me the enthusiasm and drive to go into the space industry.