Marwa Alzarrad is a final year Pharmaceutical Chemistry undergraduate. In addition to her studies, she also works for Frontline, a leadership development graduate scheme which provides on the job training for those who want to become social workers.
24 March 2020
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a Pharmaceutical Chemistry undergraduate, currently in my third and final year at Queen Mary. I also work part time alongside my studies at Halifax, as well as Frontline which I work for on campus.
Why did you choose to study Pharmaceutical Chemistry?
I’ve always been drawn to chemistry. I think that my chemistry teacher back in secondary school had a big part to play in that as she was very encouraging. The combination of maths and science in pharmaceutical chemistry, also reinforced my interest.
Also, when I was in year 10, I took part in the Salters’ Chemistry Camp that was held at Cambridge. This was a real insight into life as a chemist. Quite early on I had the chance to be in the lab and have a better understanding into what chemistry would be like at university. That definitely solidified my decision.
What are your career aspirations for the future?
I enjoy the analytical aspect of chemistry and would love the opportunity to work on data analysis projects involving the pharmaceutical industry. However, I am yet to solidify what I want to do in the future. I am hoping to explore my options and strengthen my skills in a range of tasks. There are so many possibilities out there that it is hard to know what I really want at this stage, but I hope to enjoy and learn from every experience that comes my way.
Tell us a little bit about Frontline and the work they do?
Frontline is a non-profit organisation that works with young graduates to make a real difference in society. As a Times Top 100 graduate employer, a key part of Frontlines mission is to raise the profile of social work in the UK.
Frontline offers a leadership development programme. It is a two-year graduate scheme that provides graduates with on the job training to become children’s social workers, changing the lives of vulnerable children and families across the UK.
Like all graduate schemes, it is a fully paid programme, in which you get the chance to become a fully qualified social worker after 13 months, followed by a fully funded masters in the second year.
Why is Frontline important to you?
Generally, I think it’s really easy for us to focus on issues that relate to us, or to someone we know, but maybe less so with matters that don’t affect us directly. I am grateful to not have had to experience the social care or foster care system, however there are hundreds of thousands of children and families that are impacted by it.
I think the media have had a great influence on how social work is portrayed, usually depicting it in a negative light. However, the work Frontline do gives graduates the skills to support and guide the next generation of kids that don’t have the easiest childhood. Being able to spread the message of Frontline and making students aware of the opportunities available, means reaching a wider audience that really connect with the message of Frontline. Getting the chance to contribute to that and hear the passion students have to support children in neighbouring communities is something I will treasure from this experience.
What are your hobbies outside of studying?
I’ve recently gotten into crocheting. It’s really soothing and gives you something to do with your hands when you don’t want to waste time on your phone. I haven’t made anything amazing yet, but I am in the process of making a hat. It is a really fun way to relax, I would definitely recommend!
What’s your favourite spot on campus?
I think I would say Library Square, especially in summer! Although, it looks like I’ll be missing out on that this year, which is a shame. But I remember when the sun was out, everyone would be out, and the atmosphere was just so happy and bright. On a regular basis though, it would be the perfect spot to bump into friends and catch up.
Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
For fun? Probably Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, to name a few actors.
What’s on your book list for this year?
I have quite a few books on my list, some to do with growing as a person mentally and spiritually, others to do with history. The Untethered Soul and Reclaim Your Heart are just a couple of books that I am really keen to read within the coming months.