A highly-flexible Master of Biotechnology course structure tailored to students’ interest, and an opportunity to balance coursework with practical research, motivated Poornima Chandrashekar Iyer to choose UQ for her postgraduate studies.

“The field of Biotechnology is continuously expanding, this makes it very interesting to learn, and work in this field,” Miss Iyer said.

“My area of interest is in bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing as this is in great demand, and hopefully it can cure the many diseases we face.”

Miss Iyer, who graduated this semester, was an international student from India who received the UQ School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences India scholarship for her two-year Masters of Biotechnology degree.

During the last two semesters of her studies, she received the Dean's Commendation for Academic Excellence.

In her final semester, Miss Iyer secured a 12-week industrial internship at a bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing company, Patheon Biologics.

“The option of choosing an industrial project as one of the 8-unit projects in the degree has been very beneficial in understanding how the industry functions outside a research environment,” she said.

“I also think this experience adds a lot of value to the course as we get a chance to apply our studies, and it is a great opportunity to network within the industry.”

Although her studies kept her busy most of the time, Miss Iyer also found time to join some of the UQ sport classes such as Zumba and swimming, as well as attend a few of the UQ dance classes, and explore Brisbane.

“Brisbane has been a lovely and very welcoming city,” she said.

“As for my experience in UQ, one of the main highlights has been meeting students and people from all over the world, and getting to know several cultures, and making friends over the four semesters.

“Also, during my two years of study, I have found that all my professors and supervisors have gone out of the way in helping me realise my potential.

“It feels great to be associated to the UQ community.”

Miss Iyer said that she would like to work in the area of medical biotechnology, and is considering pursuing a research higher degree in future.

Image: Poornima Chandrashekar Iyer at the recent SCMB Graduation Celebration Afternoon Tea.

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