Not the type for a "traditional" university
We had the chance to get a taste for working in the labs at IMC Krems while I was still at school when we visited the university and did blood group testing. I found it fascinating. Then I studied pharmacy at the University of Vienna for a year. Despite getting a good result in the entrance examination, I decided pretty quickly that studying at a traditional university alongside 700 other students on my course wasn’t really for me.
Wide-ranging options you have after graduating
So I went along to an open day at IMC Krems. At first I had my sights set on the Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree, but then I listened to a presentation by Dr. Uwe Rinner – the Director of the Applied Chemistry programme – which I liked so much that I changed my mind and applied for that course instead. Dr. Rinner told us about all the options you have after graduating from the programme, which are so wide-ranging because with this chemistry degree you can also work in the pharmaceuticals industry. You don’t have to decide what direction you want to head in at the beginning of your studies.
He also spoke very passionately about doing an internship abroad and the valuable experiences it gives you. He has spent time in Canada and Oman, where he learned a lot. I was really interested in his personal story, and he opened my eyes to many aspects which I had never considered before. So after that, the Applied Chemistry programme was the obvious choice for me.
The opportunity to specialise comes at the exact right time
In semester six I can opt for either the Instrumental Analysis and Chemometrics or Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry elective. I think it’s good that we can make this decision two and a half years into the programme. You’ve already done a lot before you get to that stage, like the internship, and perhaps by then I'll have a clear idea of what I want to specialise in.
At school I wasn’t especially good at maths. The curriculum includes a lot of maths and chemistry of course, but because I’m so interested in chemistry I can put up with the maths. Keep your chin up and just take the plunge. With this degree you won’t need to worry about finding a job.