In an interview she told her programme director, Priv. Doz. Dr. Uwe Rinner, more about her experiences and future plans.
What do you like to do in your free time - how do you relax from stress?
I enjoy spending time with friends, practicing yoga and watching movies with good plot twists. Before the current pandemic I was also someone that loved travelling a lot and did that quite frequently. Since my parents both originate from Bosnia & Hercegovina, I visit this country very often and feel very connected to the people, culture, sense of humor and (of course) cuisine.
What was decisive in your decision to study Applied Chemistry?
The reasons why I chose to study Applied Chemistry at IMC Krems was a very diverse and extensive degree programme and the possibility to choose an elective in the last semester. Additionally, the IMC Krems has a very modern campus and a great community which contributes to a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
How would you describe your internship?
My practical training semester took place at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, where I synthesized and analysed a catalyst and later on used it for the catalysis of CO2 to other products such as formic or acetic acid. For me the entire process from synthesis to application was very insightful and I was able to try out many different methods used in Analytics and Organic Chemistry. Besides that, the issue of CO2 reduction was very interesting to work on and I really hope that we will develop our technology further and solve this environmental problem soon.
What content from your studies interests you the most?
During my studies I was very interested in lectures that covered topics of subjects like Bioorganic Chemistry, Toxicity and Analytical Chemistry. However, the time spent in the lab was one of the most memorable things of the last couple of semesters.
Which specialisation did you choose and why?
I chose the elective “Instrumental Analysis and Chemometrics” which puts an emphasis on methods used in Analytical Chemistry. The later evaluation of the results through Chemometrics, Multivariate Data Analysis and Data Mining shows us students what our obtained data tells us about our sample. The reason why I decided on this elective is firstly my interest in Analytical Chemistry and Data Visualization and secondly the industry’s high demand for people who are properly educated and skilled in these areas.
What did you surprise during your studies?
I had the most exciting and surprising moments in the lab since not every day was the same. Experiments successfully conducted and even those which failed always sparked even more interest and enthusiasm.
Which areas of the degree programme will you benefit from the most?
One of the biggest advantages of my degree programme is the Practical Training Semester, which gives me the chance to improve and extend my skills and knowledge as a member of a research group as well as the opportunity to get a glance behind the scenes of scientific research projects.
What are your goals after graduation?
My plan after graduation is to continue my studies in a Chemistry-related Master’s programme. I really hope during my future education to have the possibility to go abroad for a longer period of time, preferably to the UK or New Zealand. After my Master’s program I plan on staying in Austria, since the chemical Industry here offers many great possibilities to work.
Keyword: Green Chemistry. What are your ambitions in this direction?
One of the most important goals of green chemistry is to enhance the sustainability of chemical processes and its products. A better, environmentally friendlier approach has to become top priority considering the worrying developments of the last decades. Since I was taught in many lectures about the importance of these aspects of chemistry and how to apply it in industrial settings, the lasting impact on and the responsibility for the environment will always accompany me throughout my career.
Your tip for prospective students:
Never hesitate to ask questions, be critical and try out new ways to solve a problem.