What is biochemistry? Does it help

Biochemistry studies - a biochemistry student in conversation


Loan, please briefly describe your academic or professional career up to now.

My High School I have on Lower Saxony boarding high school in Esens completed, I lived there in Boarding school, since I am from the North Sea island of Borkum come and get it there no way gave the General University Entrance Qualification to get.

After graduating from high school, I chose the Bachelor's degree in biochemistry at the Georg August University in Göttingen Applied. Since there was no answer for a long time, I went to the to be on the safe side NC-free chemistry course enrolled and a semester of chemistry educated. After a few weeks the one came Acceptance for biochemistry“Where” I switched to after the first semester.

After my bachelor's degree, I'll have another good half a year as a research assistant Participated in research projectsbefore I then fully motivated master started.

Mean master in biochemistry I have at the Heidelberg University started. Due to the corona, it knocked me back a little in terms of time and is currently catching mine master thesis at the Institute for Biomolecular and Organic Chemistry in Göttingen at.

Why did you choose to study biochemistry?

To be honest, I was still a bit haphazard until after graduating from high school. But I was already very much during my school days mathematical-scientific Interested. I always thought chemistry was really cool, it was interesting basics respectively the To learn mindsetfor example why something looks the way it looks, why something melts, explodes or whatever.
biology however, I actually have up to 9th grade hated. The subjects were for me super boring and for me it was nothing but pure memorization (the structure of a leaf, a bee, ...).

If something is not interesting for me and it does not make sense to be able to retrieve what I have learned by heart, then it was pure for me Waste of timebecause for that there is reference books. Then came topics like Genetics, protein synthesis and metabolism, that I found it extremely exciting, because it was there that I was given the first insight into what happens when you eat something and how is metabolized, Which Reactions in the body run what exactly happens if, for example, you want to move your arm or smell something.

Pure biology to study came for me never in questionbecause there are far too many topics waiting for me that I extremely boring find. medicine was for me too no option, there my NC is not good enough that's why and I didn't want to wait. So i had first thought of chemistry (where I would later specialize in biochemistry), but then my older sister told me it in Göttingen for a few years new biochemistry course gives. So I applied for it.

In fact, I wasn't at all sure whether I would go for the Laboratory work am suitable or also Having fun with it will have. The whole Experiments back then in school in the subjects biology and chemistry I found the theory really exciting, but practically I didn't really feel like doing all of them School experiments perform. Presumably there is one prescribed protocol With predictable result was. I found it more interesting to explain Why exactly this result is expected or why something doesn't work could have and what could be changed to make it work. I liked or generally like it prefer to thinkto get a Systematically solve problem than getting the solution straight into your hand.

What previous knowledge, for example from school, helped you with your studies? What interests should you have?

Previous knowledge like basic arithmetic, Basic knowledge of chemistry (Setting up stoichiometry / reaction equations, rough idea of ​​atoms, molecules, ions using very simplified models ...) or Basic knowledge of biochemistry (Building blocks of DNA, RNA, proteins, ...) are helpful.

Further prior knowledge such as some reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry, simplified representations of DNA replication or Protein synthesis They don't hurt either, but in the end all the basics or everything necessary in math, chemistry, biology and physics are covered taught in my studies anyway or corrected. So you basically start from scratch.

physics I had, for example, in high school voted out. Although I got along very well with physics, but didn't really get the idea behind it, I was less interested there. Through physics, I have found myself in the Studies tortured at first, but then learned to love and suddenly found it too very interesting.
That's why it's much more important to be curiousto have something to interest understandWhat you don't yet know with your current level of knowledge - I think that applies to every degree program.

What do you particularly like about your degree program?

Hui, that's difficult to formulate for the bachelor's degree, as I do didn't like more thingseven though I have it do not regret Study biochemistry.

In the bachelor’s program we were lots of basics taught, that is less flexibility compared to other courses. I didn't like that very much. But what I really liked was learning (halfway) independently to work on a project, but unfortunately that only came at the end of the bachelor's degree As part of the bachelor thesis and the previous in-depth internship.

The whole "Room internships" where you stood with 25 men in the laboratory and all that same experiment to Scheme F I found it very tedious and rather monotonous. But I completely understand that you have to start with indoor internships first, to learn the basics. Otherwise they gave me mathematical and chemical modules It was a lot of fun because it was mostly logical to me.

Im master got me the freedom liked it very, very much. That was also the reason why I chose the Master's program in Heidelberg decided. One has one Compulsory module and three elective modulesthat you can choose. The rest of the course is completed Research internships in different laboratoriesthat you too Choose yourself regardless of location can.

How do you personally see your professional opportunities after your studies?

You have many options, for example different ones Research institutions (Medicine, basic research in many directions, food, cosmetics, environment, ...), Research at universities / colleges, Clinics / medical laboratories, Companies in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries, …

Do you have any advice or tips for others considering studying biochemistry?

If you are interested in biochemistry, just try it, otherwise you cannot know whether it will fit. You have to have a certain Perseverance because there are definitely modules that you can dislike becomes. You think you're finally out of it School out and only learns things that you can do Interesting finds, but there will definitely be modules that you hate, It was like that for me as well.

There are very many stressful phases, one should be aware of that. Around Learn by heart unfortunately you can't get around.

But I can also say one thing: Up until my bachelor thesis, I didn't know that I would enjoy laboratory work. All the internships before that were in small groups. One does learn better independent to be when you can just be one own project Has. But in my opinion, it was very worth it.

What I highly recommend is, one Industrial internship to complete as it is for the Career entry is very beneficial. Experience abroad are never wrong either. For example, that was planned for this year (2020), which then fell into the water due to the corona.
I wish everyone all the best and every success on their way.

Thank-you Loan for your time and this insight into your studies.agrajo wishes youall the best for your future!

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Author: agrajo editorial team in an interview with Loan Vuong