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Valeria Azzarito

Chemistry PhD student

Valeria is from Italy and is doing a PhD in organic chemistry. She did her Masters degree in Bologna and chose to come to Leeds to continue with her studies. Below she tells us about her experience of her first few months of her research project.

How are you finding it working on your research project?
I’m really enjoying it, it’s a wonderful project because it is multi-disciplinary. It’s exciting to learn a lot of different things and not just be the classic synthetic chemist but to improve your knowledge. It helps you to improve and open your mind to different things.

Why did you choose to do a research degree?
Because I like research. Even when things don’t work, it is always challenging. It helps you to be motivated and go on researching.

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I was looking for a PhD abroad to improve my English and then my supervisor offered me this PhD position; I liked the project and the opportunities it offered were invaluable to me. 

How do you find all the facilities which are available?
It’s well organised with a lot of equipment, it’s amazing, I wasn’t used to having so many instruments.  And there are a lot of people ready to help you. They are really helpful which is really important when you are new in a place, that there is someone there to help you, to refer to if you have some problems.

What would you say to other students thinking of coming to Leeds University?
This is a wonderful university, a wonderful organisation, a lot of groups which you can get involved with and learn a lot.  A lot of the academic staff are young which is really important because they still know what student life actually is. This is important that they have an open mind to help you improve your research.