School of Biomedical Sciences

Kevin Steel

Kevin Steel

BSc Biochemistry - Graduated July 2014 with a First Class Honours Degree

Current Position: Trainee Accountant, KPMG

I originally joined Newcastle to complete a Biomedical Sciences degree with the aim of entering Dentistry after graduating. However during the course of my studies it became apparent to me that this was not what I saw myself doing for the next 40 years. It was at this point I explored several careers, the other degree courses, and transferred to Biochemistry.

A career in research had never really appealed to me, but I knew the skills I was developing were transferrable to the majority of careers open to graduates. Exploring graduate careers in a business environment lead me to the KPMG graduate scheme. The entire company and scheme drew me in, the chance to work in a global company and learn from some of the leading business minds.

The application process seemed daunting at first but the key is preparation. During preparation it became clear to me that my degree had been developing key skills that I had never really considered. Ultimately this resulted in me receiving an offer to work with KPMG in Newcastle in the autumn after graduating.

Key skills such as teamwork, time management, and leadership are all developed through courses at Newcastle. It is also worth noting the optional Business module I undertook in third year, giving an insight into the processes involved in developing a business idea, developing it, and ultimately pitching it to a team of 'investors'. This module is a change from the majority of modules you experience on a science course, but provides everyone with the option to experience different possibilities.

Importantly even on a course heavily science based I gained support and skills that allowed me to enter a career based in business. A biochemistry degree sets a graduate up for a variety of careers and not just the initial science options the majority of people may think.

It is important to consider many options, as through the course of University many students are unsure as to what their future holds. The University careers service can provide advice to assist in highlighting the options and making these decisions, although for myself I knew the route I wanted to take from the end of second year and so got support doing this myself.