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Amelia Winterburn

Research Professional, Network Physics, BT

Class of 2015

Tell us a bit about your career after leaving Sheffield Girls’?

After sixth form I went to The University of York to do a 4 year course. In my first summer I did a 6 week internship at SITraN (the neuroscience department at Sheffield Uni).

I really enjoyed the research and thought I'd probably go back to do a PhD. My second summer I did Camp America, and my third and final summer I did an internship in BT's Applied Research department focusing on new ways of sending information over the existing copper network.

I had lots of debates with myself about whether to go straight into industry or do a PhD. In the end I went back to BT on the Technology Graduate Scheme and now I work full time in Applied Research working on innovative network technologies, applying fundamental physics to develop high-risk high-reward solutions to emerging real world issues.

I love my job and I'm still doing research every day. I still might do a PhD at some point though.

Why did you decide to take the career path you did?

I've wanted to do something science-based, probably since GCSEs, but I had no idea what. I was considering loads of degree options when I visited open days. By chance I went to a Natural Sciences session at York's open day and loved it! It allowed me to continue with all the subjects I loved, but I didn't know what I wanted to do as a job until my final year. I still don't know what I want to do with the rest of my career, but I know it will be something interesting.

Do you think your education at Sheffield Girls’ influenced your career path?

I had the opportunity to try lots of things and decide what I liked. It inspired me into science and gave me lots of opportunities to flourish into the big nerd I'm proud to be today.

What have been the biggest challenges so far in your career? And the most rewarding parts of your job?

I did struggle with the self-discipline a full-time job needs, especially when we started working at home, but I quickly adjusted. I have an awesome job. I get to do so many different things; different research topics, different styles of working. Sometimes I'm in the lab, sometimes I'm coding, sometimes I'm writing papers. I love the variation and how engaging research is. There's always more to do.

What advice would you give sixth form pupils at Sheffield Girls’ today?

Pick something you'll enjoy, not just something you think you should do, and take every opportunity you can. Have a wonderful time with the friends you have now, it's a great part of your life. Also, the rest of the world talks a lot slower than you do, and they can't always take everything in at the rate you speak.

What did Sheffield Girls’ do for you?

Encouraged me to seize opportunities and gave me a passion for science. Sheffield Girls’ has some really great teachers, don't underestimate the effect they'll have on you.

Amelia image

A Levels: Chemistry, Physics, Maths, with Geography AS.

University: The University of York, 1st Class MSci Natural Sciences specialising in Biophysical Science

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