Bridget Dooshima Igbetar
- Course: PhD Food Science and Nutrition
- Nationality: Nigerian
Why did you choose to study Food Science and Nutrition at masters and now PhD level?
I wanted to build a more defined career in food science. I come from a country where to be considered in your field of study, you need to make the extra effort because of the growing rate of graduates. A masters degree from the UK is an added advantage. Additionally, after graduating with a BSc in Food Science and Technology, and working with NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) in Nigeria, I wanted to take a step to further develop myself.
After completing my masters in Food Science and Nutrition, I am now studying my PhD at the University of Leeds.
Why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I chose the University of Leeds for two reasons. Firstly, my father studied here a long time ago, and on his return to Nigeria, he never stopped speaking highly of this University and as such, I too looked forward to coming over to get a feel.
Secondly, when the opportunity of studying abroad presented itself, and I already had a foundation in food science, I did a quick check on the University of Leeds, and it was rated the second in my field of interest in the UK.
Has the course lived up to your expectations?
Of course, it has! I have over time developed a better understanding of the relationship between food science and nutrition. I think it is important to add that, the guidance given to me by my lecturers, personal tutor and project supervisor here was remarkable.
What have you enjoyed most about your course?
I enjoyed a good student-lecturer relationship and we can discuss our different views about food science and nutrition during our routine meetings. The lecturers are all accessible, willing to listen to me at any point in time. This made my learning easier. I loved the style of receiving lectures, where it was more like an interactive session than just sitting and listening.
What is it that makes you passionate about the subject you study?
I come from a State in Nigeria (Benue) considered to be the food basket of the nation because residents there are predominantly farmers. Although my state produces most of the food crops consumed in Nigeria, processing and preservation is a huge challenge as we still rely on foreign processed foods. My passion is driven towards being a positive contributor in the Nigerian food sector, considering food security as key to helping the economy. I’ve always seen myself as a Food Security Officer of Nigeria in the near future.
What do you think of the academic facilities and support services?
The facilities and support services are excellent. It is interesting that, even before the start of an academic session, I was being prepared by the University to face the academic year. Laboratory equipment, study materials in the library and online are always available for use and the University has a good support office.
How would you describe student life for postgraduates at Leeds?
I would advise anyone coming for postgraduate study to come prepared, especially if he/she is an international student.
As it’s a 1-year programme, you find yourself always on the move. Aside from trying to fit into a new environment, there’s so much to cover academically. I got to meet very interesting people from different walks of life, culture, and religion. Postgraduate life at Leeds started with all the hustling through the academic period, but in the end, I am thankful I went through it, I can cope with whatever stress now.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
England is a multicultural nation with a historical background so there are many places to visit. In my spare time, I visit one or two museums, travel around, go out with my new friends or go on a shopping spree. Shopping can be very interesting when there are so many available options.
What do you plan to do after your course?
My initial plan was to go back to Nigeria and work with NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) because I was given a letter of recommendation requesting that I should be retained. However, after my research project in in vitro starch digestibility of a local gruel, there were many areas that needed to be looked into. In view of this, I am considering pursuing a PhD programme to explore these areas of interest.