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Catriona Smith

Chemistry graduate Catriona Smith has many great memories of Edinburgh but an opportunity to play shinty evolved into a passion for the game which she still has today.

Name

Catriona Smith

Degree Course

Master of Chemistry

Year of Graduation

2004

Catriona Smith

Your time at the University

I chose to study at Edinburgh University as it had an excellent reputation for chemistry. I was also interested in the possibility for taking outside subjects in the first couple of years of study. Some notable experiences including taking part in an International Exchange year. I studied third year chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This enabled me to travel all over the West Coast of America and take part in adventure activities such as hiking the Grand Canyon, camping in Yosemite National Park, and rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.

I took up new sports and activities, including having the opportunity to play shinty, Scotland’s national sport, but one which I’d never tried before. I also played for various teams in the Edinburgh University Hockey Club.

Some of my favourite memories are tied up with the sports teams that I played for such as the Hockey Tour to Dublin on the only weekend of the year when pubs are closed! I played for the Scottish Universities shinty team the first year there was a women’s team, and won the Littlejohn universities shinty tournament in my final year!

I was sponsored through my degree, so I spent my Easter and summer holidays working with my sponsor company and gaining work experience, however I did take 3 weeks off one year to take up a temporary position handing out flyers at the Edinburgh Fringe. It gave me a totally different perspective on the Festival, and the entertainment industry, and meant that I was essentially nocturnal for 3 weeks!

My personal achievements since completing university have been mainly in the sporting arena – having been selected to play for the Scotland women’s shinty team every year since 2004, being awarded Women’s Shinty Player of the Year twice in that period, and being part of two teams which won the women’s Camanachd Cup.

Catriona Smith

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

I currently work in Marketing and Export Control for a biotechnology company whose customers are in the defence and first responder markets. After graduating from Edinburgh University I gained a place on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme, which meant that I benefited from working at a small company, but was also able to access huge amounts of training and expertise through the scheme. After 2 years I then moved to a technical role in research and development at the company, creating new diagnostic tests for various conditions, and after 4 years of this work I was then offered my current position.

My current position enables me to work with innovative products from the outset, and affect our customer’s perspective of the products while gaining information on their wider use in the defence community. I am lucky enough to travel worldwide to promote and provide training on our products, and probably my favourite part of the job is interacting with potential customers to determine their requirements, and how we can assist them

My personal achievements since completing university have been mainly in the sporting arena – having been selected to play for the Scotland women’s shinty team every year since 2004, being awarded Women’s Shinty Player of the Year twice in that period, and being part of two teams which won the women’s Camanachd Cup.

Alumni wisdom

I would tell current students to try out as many different activities, sports and societies as they can – you’ll never find another place where it is so easy to get involved and make new friends!