Graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) with a degree in Forensic Science has enabled Lauren Dougan to start her dream job.
The 20-year-old is "ecstatic" to have landed a role with ALS Food & Pharmaceutical, the UK's leading provider of food and drink testing services.
She said: "During my time at DMU our practical sessions were when I fell in love with the idea of working in a laboratory and by getting this job I was fulfilling my dreams straight after graduation."
Based in in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, Lauren is a laboratory technician in nutritional chemistry. Duties include preparing samples for analysis and testing samples for specific results such as sugars, using techniques including high performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma.
"The best thing about my job is it allows me to transfer all the skills I learnt at DMU and apply them to a real-world situation," said Lauren, who hopes to progress within the company and possibly study for a master's.
Born in Wolverhampton, Lauren chose to study in Leicester after "falling in love with DMU" at an Open Day.
"The location was great, as it was far enough away for me to become independent but not too far," she said.
"The syllabus meant I could have knowledge and experience in each area of forensic science without having to specialise, which was what I wanted. And the course at DMU is one of the few accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.
"Plus, the facilities were so good and lecturers were interesting, making each practical fun and relatable to real-life situations such as a mock-court session and briefings with the senior investigating officer.
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"We got to experience a fire investigation day, which allowed us to see just how quickly fire can spread and as we're forensic investigators we could see what the aftermath would look like.
"Finally, we had practical sessions in the crime house so we could see the full process of how evidence gets from crime scene to court."
Lauren also benefited from DMU's focus on employability. She said: "DMU held various events that helped me gain knowledge of what employers expect.
"In personal tutoring sessions we would talk about what could happen at interviews and, during Employability Week, we had events including guest lectures and placement talks."
Outside of studying, Lauren became a member of the First Aid Society and a trainee first aider for St John Ambulance.
But her highlight was joining DMU Hockey. She added: "I would recommend joining a sports club or society to anyone as this enabled me to make great friendships that I'll keep for life, have fun and stay active.
"I have had the best university experience, which I will miss so much but always cherish."
Posted on Friday 25th August 2017