Coleen Miller graduated in 1989 with a BSc in Biochemistry.
What do you remember most about your time at Aber?
I remember the glorious, glorious sunsets over Cardigan Bay and exploring (and working in!) the beautiful Welsh countryside with the BTCV group Aberystwyth Conservation Volunteers that I connected with at the Student’s Union Fair. I remember the hours of revision at the Hugh Owen Library and the National Library of Wales, tea beaks with my lab partners in the middle of long laboratory practicals, the revelations and camaraderie of a week-long residential course in Marine Biology, walks through the bluebell woodland and along the seafront to kick the bar, and the genuine generosity and help from other students on my course, staff at my residence hall, and additional help from my lecturers to understand difficult concepts of organic chemistry.
What are you doing now career-wise and how has your Aberystwyth Degree helped?
My time at Aberystwyth was followed by a postgraduate degree and nearly a decade as a research scientist in the UK and in the USA. I grew up in a very small town in a land-locked state in America. My year-long exchange at Aberystwyth University put me in direct contact with a much more internationally diverse student body and catalyzed my transformation into a more broad-minded, aware, and compassionate citizen. These days I’m a web content specialist for a global biotech company. I enjoy working with business partners and customers in many countries; I can truly say that Aberystwyth University was the genesis of a rewarding career for me.
What advice would you have for a student doing your course now?
Coursework and exams have a tendency to loom large, but there’s ready help from others on your course and from dedicated lecturers, so don’t despair. Aberystwyth University offers a great mix of sciences and arts...outdoor pursuits and quiet contemplation. It’s the perfect environment to focus on what you’re good as well as to try something you’ve never dreamed you’d like. There is magic at Aberystwyth University. Though my time there was short, the experiences I had during that study abroad year transported me onto a much more expansive and rewarding path.