It’s fair to say final year student Carlyle Collins has kept himself busy during his time at BU.
Alongside his degree studies, BSc (Hons) Forensic Science student Carlyle is a student ambassador, blogger, Undergraduate Research Assistant, and plays cricket for the men’s first team.
“It’s quite a full house,” he jokes. “It is a lot to be involved in, but I love it and I’m learning a lot.”
Carlyle, who is from Guyana, had always wanted to study in the UK and chose BU because of the practical experience and placement opportunities on offer.
“I always fancied studying in the UK and BU was one of the universities which offered forensic science,” he said.
“I liked the course and how practical it was - even things like the possibility of doing a placement year, which was quite a big influence on me in choosing a university.”
Carlyle spent his placement year in the university labs, before securing an Undergraduate Research Assistant position with BU’s Professor Matthew Bennett, supporting a research project which aims to improve the use of footprint evidence in gathering criminal intelligence.
“I spent my placement year doing practical work in the labs, with access to lots of equipment that some PhD students don’t even get to use,” explained Carlyle.
“That was fascinating for me, and the fact I was able to speak about things that I could do was quite useful for the application for the Research Assistant position.
“I worked with Professor Bennett over the summer on a project which was specifically targeted towards the forensic science field. We were looking at footprints and trying to develop software to help crime scene investigators process footprints at crime scenes.”
Carlyle shares his passion and enthusiasm for science through his role as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador for the university - running science-based workshops and activities for schoolchildren.
“We go into schools and do different workshops there based on science and getting the children interested with science,” he said.
“Because there aren’t many STEM ambassadors and we all come from different courses, it’s like a family – you meet lots of new people and get to know each other really well.”
Carlyle added that his own personal experiences and seeing the university grow and develop make him proud to be a BU student.
“I’d recommend BU because, if you want to get involved with doing lots of things, you can do so much and tailor it specifically to what you want it to be,” he said.
“I love the fact that it’s growing as well - the university is making progress in the rankings and the league tables, which is always a good sign.
“It’s good to see that the university’s making forward progress and you can look back when you’re graduating and say ‘That’s my university – it keeps moving forward’ and be proud of that.”
Having made the most of the extra-curricular opportunities available to him at BU, Carlyle’s advice for other potential students would be to do the same.
“University is what you make it – your coursework matters but there is so much more outside of that to explore,” he said.
“Get involved in different things, stretch yourself and see what’s happening.
“You can step out of your comfort zone, meet new people who enrich your life in so many ways, and leave university with an amazing experience.”
To hear more from Carlyle, you can read his blog, where he writes about Bournemouth University to help prospective and current students.