Scholarship student writes about his university experience

michael-taiwo

Michael is a final Year Biomedical Science Student who received a scholarship in 2013, which completely changed his student experience. He is now a Student Caller and is excited to be reaching out to alumni in support of the Chancellor’s 50th Anniversary Appeal.

About Me

I was born in Nigeria, and lived there until I was nine. Upon coming to England, I developed an insatiable appetite for science and biology as this was a topic that wasn’t covered at my age in Nigeria. I found myself wanting to use the knowledge and drive I had for Biology and applied to the University of Surrey for the BSc Biomedical Science degree.

My time at Surrey has certainly helped me develop as an individual and brought incredible opportunities my way. I was a student rep in my first year and took up the role again in my final year with great enthusiasm. I was fortunate enough to work in Microbiology for Cefas (Weymouth) as a Microbiologist during my placement year which was an overwhelmingly positive experience that resulted in a scientific publication (2016)—a testament to the excellent industry links the University provides to students.

About The Scholarship

Due to difficulties at home, my first year at Surrey was a mixture of excitement and anxiety. I was excited to be at my ‘first choice’ university, however became very aware that my savings would only get me so far, especially when considering my parents would not be able to support me financially. My fears were quashed when I received an email with ‘Congratulations!’ written in bold red text, the body of the e-mail informed me I’d be receiving a cash-prize scholarship provided by the University of Surrey’s Scholarship Scheme. The peace of mind the scholarship gave me is indescribable and the prize proved to be invaluable, especially around February when I put down a large sum of money to secure accommodation for second year.

My role as a student caller

As a student caller, I reach out to alumni on behalf of the university. This is particularly beneficial for me as I get to talk to numerous ‘Forever Surrey’ alumni, finding out about their unique experiences on campus, and talking to them about their post-graduate career. I’ve found myself incredibly surprised and charmed by the wonderful people from Surrey and have been fortunate enough to receive advice from alumni who have been in the same career I’d like to go into.

When alumni support the university, it fills me with so much pride. It thrills me to realise that graduates developed such a bond with Surrey during their time at University that they’re happy to help secure the future of its current students. I know that scholarships similar to mine have been funded philanthropically and I am forever grateful to the University and Surrey Alumni whose generosity drastically improve student experiences.

I love knowing that Surrey will be able to continue supporting students who need help and rewarding those who aspire and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a student caller.