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    The Science Kit

    Perfect if you're studying: Pharmaceuticals, Biomed, Physics, Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry

    We’ve put together the perfect starter kit for all the business, marketing and hospitality students starting university this year. We also sit down with our I.T. project assistant at AO Recycling, Ryan Buttery, as he talks us through his best tips and tricks to schooling your degree.

    Here's what you need...

    Lenovo IdeaPad

    Up to 10 hours of battery life and a large SSD to help maintain speeds – what’s not to like? You’ll have a much smoother ride loading any files and completing theory work. This is a brilliant all-rounder for those subjects that don’t require specific software or apps.

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    Apple Watch

    You probably won’t have time to pick up your phone during lab time. An Apple Watch is a convenient way to keep in touch with what’s going on beyond your lectures. It’s a great way to avoid the distraction of a phone and give every experiment your undivided attention.

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    Smart Speaker

    Never miss a lecture or deadline again! Map out your weekly deadlines with friendly reminders from a smart speaker. There’s also some pretty nifty science behind how it works if you want to impress your course mates.

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    Microsoft 365 Home and Student

    The Microsoft 365 Home and Student bundle is an absolute must for anyone starting university, regardless of the degree. It includes all the classics - Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – so you can complete all kinds of assignments, take lecture notes and so much more!

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    McAfee

    The last thing you want is a security threat when you’ve got deadlines to hit. McAfee is super-efficient anti-virus software that offers total protection for PCs, Macs, Smartphones and Tablets. No matter what you’re studying, it’s important to keep your tech safe from viruses.

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    Meet Ryan, I.T. Project Assistant for AO Recycling

    I’m Ryan, and I work for the recycling part of AO as an I.T. project assistant. What that means is that I work with all departments of the business to understand their problems and implement systems and solutions that allow them to overcome them in order to increase performance.

    I studied Biology at the University of Worcester, which may seem rather different to my career, but there is a surprising amount of overlap. These days most of the interest in biosciences lies on the molecular side. DNA, proteins, you name it. There are terabytes and terabytes of data that have been gathered by sequencing or ‘reading’ these molecules, so biologists have begun to embrace I.T. as a way of sifting through this data for the breakthroughs they’re looking for.

    While I was undertaking my 3rd-year research project, I had to write a couple of R scripts to process some data I’d collected and realised that my talents and interests had naturally grown towards I.T. over the course of my degree. A career managing projects in I.T. felt like the right fit for me, and I look forward to seeing where this rabbit hole will take me!

    Ryan's Tips...

    Read journal articles, and practice being able to pull out the salient points with only a cursory glance. This will make researching for your assignments much faster and easier. (and get a good reference manager!)

    Get as much practical lab time in as possible. When it comes to jobs, it’s one thing to say you know about something, and it’s another thing entirely to say that you’ve done it. Experience is vital.

    Find your niche and choose modules that steer you towards it. The natural sciences are vast subject areas. I enjoyed molecular, micro, and plant biology. I ended up specialising in plant pathology – the study of plant disease!

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