Elizabeth Atkinson
See a profile of our Student advocate, Elizabeth Atkinson. You may recognise her from some Chemistry for All events last year.
I think I have always loved science, the two things I’ve always enjoyed the most have been biology and chemistry. I loved the way that almost everything around us somehow links to Chemistry, Biology or Physics. I think my real interest began when we began our GCSEs, as it was challenging but very interesting learning about crude oil and reactions. I always enjoyed lab work and making colour changes or fizzes!
Yes, I really did enjoy science at school, it helped that my chemistry teachers were really enthusiastic and did lots of demonstrations – sometimes we’d go in and he’d have methane bubbles set up just for fun! I think it’s different now because they’re trying to include more practical elements, also there seems to be more choice – I had to do triple award science and I couldn’t choose to drop any (it would have been physics!) whereas now pupils seem to be able to choose to drop a science, or do a BTEC if it suits the way that they learn.
My high school was very fortunate to have a large amount of science facilities, almost every science classroom was a lab, so we were not limited in our use of labs, we often did practicals and the teachers would do fun demonstrations. In high school we had to do triple award science, so I did all 3 sciences.
I think it was when I had to choose my college options. I had enjoyed triple science, however I really wanted to drop physics, so I chose to continue studying Chemistry and Biology. My college Chemistry teacher was amazing and so enthusiastic about chemistry, he would often set up demonstrations just for fun. I think then I really started to consider doing something heavily chemistry based for my degree
I currently study pharmacy full time, however I also have a job as a student advocate with the university. This job involves a lot of public speaking, and while not directly related to my future career, it has given me so many skills and so much confidence!
As a hospital pharmacist you usually start the day with a quick staff meeting, to discuss new patients and discharges. Then you will go out onto the wards to question people about their medication, look for errors and explain their medication to them. As a junior pharmacist you are often in the dispensary for either the morning or afternoon, here you will do clinical checks and accuracy checks of the prescription.
I love homemade pizza! I go all out and make homemade dough and sauce, so good. I also love bean enchiladas.
Spain, without a doubt. I love the culture and the food and the artists from there. I used to speak Spanish to a fairly good level, however I’ve unfortunately lost a lot of it from not practising.
Simply for the sense of wonder it gives you. Nothing is just “water” or “air” anymore. It is so much more complex and interesting. Chemistry can be found in everything you do, eat, breathe etc. It really is just such an immersive subject which requires a wide range of skills and knowledge. It’s not just about the atom, it’s about the environment, health and even our entertainment.