Biosciences Foundation Course
Andrea Sernagiotto came to London seven years ago from Sao Paulo, Brazil. After ten years working in Customer Service (five of which with a catering company in London), she decided she needed an urgent career change and came to the University of Westminster to study the Biosciences Foundation Course.
'I always worked in customer service in Brazil, and [in the UK]. Then I reached a point where I said: this can’t go on, I need to do something that brings me personal satisfaction. So I decided to do Biomedical Sciences' she says 'I thought I had more to give, more skills that I could use, especially in biology or physiology, which is what I like.'
'I finished my A-Levels in Brazil, but it was a long time ago, and I thought it would be good [to study the Foundation course first], because then I would be able to review things...and it has been a good experience...'
After completing the one year Foundation course to bring her knowledge up to date, Andrea can move on to the BSc Honours Biomedical Sciences degree. But why has she picked the University of Westminster? 'My course needed to be accredited by the IBMS (Institute of Biomedical Science) or else you are not able to work in hospital if it is not accredited' she says.
But not only that, she describes her course as 'enjoyable', and feels at home at the University. 'For everyone who comes from outside [the UK] the University is very welcoming, as is the city' she says. 'My main concern when I came to the University was if there would be equality. Everyone is equal, everyone is treated with respect'.
After just one year doing a Foundation Course at the University of Westminster, Andrea happily explains her new position at the NHS (National Health Service). 'I just got a part-time job at night with the NHS' she says. 'I will work in the National Blood Service, processing blood, filtering'.
The paid position as a Laboratory assistant, she says, is a chance for her to do what she enjoys, while being able to pay rent. 'I feel that one of the things that helped me to get that job was The University of Westminster'.
After years working in a job where Andrea felt she 'had more to give' and wasn’t using her full potential, now she can finally say she is satisfied.
'I feel that when I am in a laboratory, that is my environment. It is very pleasant. We spend almost one third of our lives working, so we have to like what we do.'
'[The University of] Westminster is at my side. I feel that the University works with the student, not for the student; for personal development.'