Velislava Petrova

Why did you choose Bristol for your BSc?

“Bristol provided exactly what I was looking for. It is a highly respected academic institution and Bristol is a wonderful city to live in. My degree offered a wide range of topics and the curriculum was very flexible. Unlike most of the other biomedicalscience courses I had seen, Bristol emphasised research driven modules, not just the theoretical background but the practical applications as well.”

How would you sum up your experience?

“The school was very friendly, open and welcoming and I felt a sense of belonging to a family with common interests. It was a very enjoyable time, despite the hard work. There was a good balance between lectures and practical work and the modules were strongly interconnected, so knowledge from one of them could be applied to the others to better understand a particular concept. I am happy I decided to do a Year in Industry as it really gave me invaluable experience and made me a lot more aware of the future steps I would like to make. This experience made me a lot more organised and efficient in my final year, so I could cope better with the final exams.”

What were the staff like?

“The senior members of staff were wonderful and the lecturers and the course organisers were very approachable. I always felt I could ask questions and raise any concerns. Meeting these highly motivated and successful academics made me feel optimistic about a future career in science. I liked the prospect of working in such an environment after I graduated.”

How did your degree influence what you are going on to next?

“I have always had a strong interest in science but the degree gave me focus, helped me develop a wide range of skills, gave me a taste of different areas of science I had no experience with before. I think at this stage the diversity of options is crucial as it allowed us to recognise some unexplored interests or talents we might have. The interaction with the staff, who were so friendly and open to ideas, made me very eager to do research and to work in such an environment. The option to do a Year in Industry was a defining point and influenced strongly my decision to do a PhD afterwards.”

What advice would you offer to students contemplating a place at Bristol?

“I would certainly recommend Bristol. It is a wonderful place both for living and studying. It has a very vibrant atmosphere throughout the year, multiple options for entertainment, strong sports culture, really friendly staff and students. I would advise them to be brave and to always ask, to try to contact the departments directly if they have any queries, to speak to Bristol Alumni and to not be afraid to apply.”

What are you doing now?

“I am doing a PhD at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. I was awarded a Wellcome Trust 4-year Full scholarship at theUniversity of Cambridge. My project is in thefields of immunology and virology. I am studying the long-term immunomodulatory effects of natural infection with measles virus using B cell repertoire analysis.”

Graduate profile

Velislava Petrova | BSc Microbiology with Study in Industry | Currently a PhD student at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge

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