My name is Hugo Palejowski, and I’m from Oxford in England. I studied the Master Programme in Biology, majoring in Ecology and Conservation at Uppsala University. I chose this programme because the courses looked interesting and the classes were what I was looking for. I chose Uppsala due to its multicultural reputation, and the good reputation of the university.
The best thing about studying at Uppsala University was the city itself, how easy it was to get out and explore the rest of Sweden, and the relationships I had with the academic staff I worked with. The atmosphere in class and on campus was relaxed, as Swedish academic life is no way near as intense and stressful as academic life in the UK (where I did my Bachelor’s degree).
After graduation I started a PhD at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. My time at Uppsala University prepared me for this by exposing me to lots of new scientific techniques during my thesis, and to a lesser extent during the classes as well, which I will use during my PhD.
If I could redo my time at Uppsala University again I would maybe choose the specialisation Evolutionary Biology, instead of Ecology and Conservation, as I am doing a lot of evolutionary topics during my PhD and the knowledge would have been helpful. I would also visit Norway as, despite wanting to, I never got around to it.
If I had to give advice to someone wanting to follow in my career footsteps I would say think hard on what you want your PhD topic to be on (if you know that before your Master’s degree, I definitely didn’t…) and try to make sure you work on similar topics during your courses and thesis. I didn’t do much evolutionary work in my courses and I’m suffering because of that now. The experience you get during your thesis is particularly important and, if it’s relevant, will definitely help your chances of getting hired to do a PhD.
Read more about the Master's programme in Biology, specialising in Ecology and Conservation