Heather joined ESMS from her local school in Fife in 2014. Heather chose MES because there was a very clear emphasis on encouraging girls to believe in themselves. When Heather learned she had been accepted on a 100% bursary she was delighted. She knew the opportunity would be life-changing and she was determined to work hard and make the most of the opportunity.
Heather left ESMS in 2016 to study Applied Medical Sciences at UCL. She hopes to go on to medical research or perhaps to work for a body like the World Health Organisation. "I think that moving from my original school to MES gave me the confidence to take the leap and move to London to carry on with my studies"
In summer 2019, Heather reported back on her University experience:
"Earlier in the summer I finished my time as a student at University College London. I found out a couple of weeks ago that I got a first class mark so soon I will have a BSc Applied Medical Sciences with First Class Honours. Of course I am really pleased with this; it was worth all of the stress! My final year was definitely the most enjoyable. I was able to take 3 optional modules on infectious agents and their control. I have realised this year that infectious disease control is what I am really passionate about.
In my third year I completed my dissertation working in a lab researching a new drug for tuberculosis. This was a really great experience but I found some of the lab work a bit frustrating. Maybe if I spent longer there and I gained more experience then I would enjoy it more, but for now I think that lab work is not what I want to do. If I could find a job where I can use my knowledge and understanding of the viruses/bacteria to prevent disease by thinking strategically then I think that would be the perfect job. Hopefully eventually I will find a job I really love.
I have also recently finished in the restaurant I have been working in part time for the last year. I decided to take some time to relax after my exams, in order to see my family and enjoy the summer in London, just for a month or so. Once I feel more refreshed I want to find a job at Public Health England in health protection, maybe working with the flu or blood borne viruses prevention team. I would like to do an entry level job like this for a year or two to save some money and gain some experience. After that there is a Master’s degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the control of infectious diseases which I would really like to do. I am also thinking of trying to go abroad for a couple of months to get some public health experience in a developing country. This is my 3-year plan so far. After that I am not 100% sure what my plans are, but hopefully I will want to stay in disease control!"
Heather and her sister Gael both benefited from transformative bursary support at ESMS and are both very grateful for the opportunities they have been given. They have said:
We would both like to thank every single donor to Access to Excellence for your kindness and your generosity. Although we will never meet you, we will never forget what you have done for us. Please continue to support Access to Excellence as generously as you can in the certain knowledge that every donation will help to change the lives of other girls and boys for many years to come.