Apple C.

PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Apple C.
MBiol in Biotechnology and Microbiology
Research Postgraduate

My employment

PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

More about Apple

BAME student

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A day in the life of a PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences in the United Kingdom

Be proactive, not reactive. What I meant by the latter is that it's OK to be rejected but don't beat yourself up about it.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I work in Dr Attila Molnar's lab at the Institute of Plant Molecular Science of University of Edinburgh.

What do you do?

My PhD project aims to develop gene editing tools for Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the model green microalgae. There is increasing industrial interest in microalgae as a biomass or protein production platform.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

With support from my pastoral and Masters project supervisor, I was applying for PhD positions at the start of my Master's year in October. I contacted Dr Attila's project advertised on and together we applied for funding from the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh. They provide full tuition fee waiver for international students for 4 years and also gives out a monthly stipend.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

No, I have always wanted to pursue a PhD and challenge myself personally and academically.

Describe your most memorable day at work

When I get informative results from my experiments! Sometimes you put all your energy into something and you get nothing - which is OK. You merely have to stand up and try again.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

As a Malaysian student, I joined the Malaysian student council called UKEC for 2 years and in the secretarial and careers department. I learnt a lot of skills but would like to highlight a few important ones which are crucial: teamwork, time management, event organisation and digital marketing.

For University of York Dance Society, I joined the Street competition team for 3 years and even choreographed for them in one of the years. I further developed my teamwork and time management skills.

I was also the Chairperson of Edible Uni, a volunteering project turning unused green spaces on campus into edible gardens. Problem-solving skills and resilience were the most important skill I developed. It was not easy at all to run a volunteering project when volunteer numbers are not consistent and when colleges are not supportive enough.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Be proactive, not reactive. What I meant by the latter is that it's OK to be rejected but don't beat yourself up about it.

Make a LinkedIn profile and keep it updated!

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?


Next steps...

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