Hi! I’m Holly and I’ve just completed my final year studying Biological Sciences. I’m a first-generation student from an area of Manchester that has low participation in higher education, and I receive the full Imperial Bursary which has been a massive help. Throughout my degree, I particularly enjoyed the Bioinformatic elements of the course and the Bioinformatic module I took in third year. Having graduated, I am planning to begin work as a consultant in September, and I am excited for my career journey after Imperial!  

What motivated you to go to university and why did you choose Imperial?

My parents and my family always valued education since they never had the same opportunity themselves and I was always interested in the sciences. Biology in particular fascinated me due to its many applications, so studying Biology at university seemed like a natural continuation for me. I chose Imperial because of its prestige, module structure and the generous financial aid that they offered which included both the Imperial Bursary scheme, and the President’s Scholarship. They really helped with the costs of living in London!

What do you wish you had known when you first started university?

I would definitely tell my first-year self to not worry about making a lot of mistakes in coursework or exams – university is a big step up from A-Levels, and you will get better with practice (you also won’t be the only one feeling like this)! I would also say that its okay not to know everything- part of the learning process involves knowing what's important to memorise and what you don’t need to know. Also don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to lecturers – it may be quite scary at first but they’re usually happy to answer and to explain if anything is unclear.

What is the highlight of your university experience?

The highlight of my university experience was definitely being able to meet new people and making new friends. I really enjoyed meeting people from different backgrounds and making memories whilst trying out the activities that different societies had on offer.

How did your background help you?

I felt that my WP background has definitely helped me to become a lot more independent at university – as I often worked a part-time job prior to university, I felt that I could manage having a lot of responsibilities and manage my finances better. As a WP-student, it’s also quite easy to forget how far you’ve come once you’re in such an academic environment, so it’s nice to remind yourself and to take pride in all the achievements you’ve made.
I also found that my background has also led me to get involved with other WP-related initiatives which I’m quite passionate about and have thoroughly enjoyed! Some of these include taking part in an Imperial StudentShapers project to explore and improve support for WP students in the department and volunteering to coach students who are from a disadvantaged background.

Holly Yang