Olivia’s degree has encouraged her to think outside the box.

The ethical debates in seminars have shown the importance of including both sides of the argument in any discussion and respecting the views of others.

University has also opened Olivia’s eyes to new ways of learning. Working collaboratively with her peers has given Olivia the opportunity to explore her ideas in greater depth.


What are the top attributes you’ve developed through your degree?

The ability to reflect upon and assess their own progress:

I would say that my self-assessing has developed a lot because we’re so used to getting the exam grade back and then being told what to do, what to focus on. I think that I’m now actually beginning to develop self-assessment so I can say actually I’m pretty weak at Maths, so I will actually correct it myself which is actually really refreshing because I can say, I want to focus on this, I don’t want to do the whole package because I have a good understanding of it. I do extra Maths classes and I went to the drop in centre and the library and I’m now on a better grounding, much better grounding.

Respond appropriately to criticism:

Constructive criticism and responding to it in a positive way, I think that’s an attribute I’ve definitely developed. It’s all good and well if you just get the grade back and say that’s fine, but actually saying, I could have done this, I could have done that – you can put it in a bank of experience so hopefully you won’t do it again.

Respect for the opinions of others and a readiness to act inclusively:

Respecting other people’s opinions I’ve definitely developed because it’s an absolute must especially when you’re in such a multicultural place such as Queen Mary. Even though you might not agree with other people’s opinions, it’s important to take them in account, especially when you’re doing academic literature and ethical debates. Instead of saying I don’t agree with it and pass it aside, you can say I don’t agree with it but other people will look at it like this. You’re thinking outside the box which I think is definitely important.

What are the top attributes you’ve developed through a chosen module?

Acquire new learning in a range of ways, both individually and collaboratively:

I would probably say Essential Skills for Biologists. I know that it doesn’t have like proper outset course, modules and what we’re going to learn, but because of that you have a flexibility and I think that it has helped me to develop new ways of learning. Before I came here, I was sort of sit down, write it out in silence individual – although there is a place for that, especially when you’re revising for exams, I now find that collaborative learning is definitely useful because bouncing ideas off of people and seeing what they come up with and what you might have missed is really transferrable in the real world.

Curiosity and openness to change:

I also would say that ESB has helped me to develop my curiosity because it doesn’t have an outset saying this is what we’re going to do. All of my friends in the module have come from different places; they’ve come from different academic backgrounds and they can say you can inherit things that aren’t in your genes, or females pick males on genetic materials and you think – what, where did that come from?

Transferrable key skills to help them with their career goals and their continuing education:

The collection of evidence when you see an academic literature which is what Essential Skills for Biologists is all about. You can see how important that is and you develop a respect for how many sources you need, where they’ve come from and how reliable they are. I would say that’s definitely been developed.