Emma Brough

Emma received the Santander Opportunites Fund in January 2020, using the funding to assist her during the placement semester of her course.

Emma is a Year 4 BSc (Hons) Fitness, Nutrition and Health student.

How did the Santander Opportunities Fund help you?

I used the Santander Opportunities Fund to assist me during the placement semester of my course. In the second semester of Year 3, my course offers a three-month full-time placement in an area of our chosen career interest. I chose a placement in public health and was given an amazing opportunity to work with NHS Tayside Nutrition and Dietetic department.

As I'm a mature student and financially independent, I was worried about how I would make ends meet, as I needed to cut back the hours at my part-time job while I was on placement.

The Santander Opportunities Fund reduced the financial burden for me and meant I did not need to work seven days a week for three months! 

I'm very grateful to Santander Universities for their donation. It eased the financial burden at a crucial time in my undergraduate degree.
Emma Brough | Abertay University | BSc (Hons) Fitness, Nutrition and Health

How has the Santander Opportunities Fund benefitted your degree and future career?

The Santander Opportunities Fund allowed me to focus solely on my placement and this has opened so many doors for me. It inspired me to continue to pursue a career in public health and academia.

I made great contacts within the public health field and have been introduced to some of the Public Health needs in Tayside and Scotland.

I've discovered a new passion to create a positive change in the people of Scotland's diets, particularly regarding preconception nutrition. This was encouraged by my brilliant placement supervisors Mia and Lyndsey. I was able to put my nutritional knowledge into practice and gained many transferable skills over the three months.

Now that you've completed your placement, what do you hope to do next?

My placement ended the week before lockdown.

I was fortunate that during my placement I applied for, and was offered, a new part-time job at Dundee Foodbank as a Foodbank Assistant.

Since completion of my placement, I've spent the whole pandemic working at the foodbank supporting people in crisis. I wouldn't have been offered the job if it were not for the experiences and skills I gained on placement. I plan on continuing my work at the foodbank while I complete my final year at university.

On completion of my degree, I would like to begin a PhD in preconception nutrition in Scotland and how this can improve. I would also like to continue to work in the third sector. Covid-19 has amazing community support and generosity and has shown the vital role charities play in keeping the population looked after.

You can learn more about the Santander Opportunities Fund here