Jara from Spain

Name: Jara Ballestin

Course: MBiolSci Molecular Biology

Hey! My name is Jara and I am a third year Molecular Biology student in the department of MBB. I am Spanish and can also speak English and German.

I am an active person and have many other hobbies outside of University. I am Residence Life ambassador and carry out several sport activities such as leading walks in the Peak District. I’m also part of the stunt cheerleading club, where I’ve made really good friends who I now consider a big familyJ. As well as these, I enjoy scuba diving, dancing and, above all, I love traveling!

Jara Ballestin.jpg

Why did you choose to study your course?

The reason why I started a degree in Molecular Biology was because I found it a thrilling opportunity to explore the microscopic world and discover cell structures and functions, as a way of unravelling the complex relations and interactions between biological molecules. By studying the several interconnections between molecules, it is possible to infer what makes life possible. I want to become a molecular biologist in order to develop research projects not just to continue learning about how cells work, but also to manipulate them and harness their potential to create something that will be useful to human lives.

Why did you choose the University of Sheffield?
Before coming to University, I knew I wanted to improve my English and leave my home city to become more independent. I thought: ‘What can be a better way to improve my English than studying in England?’, so I held on to this idea and started searching for Biology-related degrees in Universities in the UK. I fell in love with the University of Sheffield and the variety of both academic and extracurricular opportunities available, and the Students’ Union. It is one of the best universities in the UK for student experience, and I believe this is just as important as studying a degree. For all these reasons, I finally decided to choose the University of Sheffield instead of all the others.

What is your favourite thing about being at the University of Sheffield?

It is hard to choose just one thing, as there are so many that I like. I would say my favourite thing is the internationality, it is amazing how many different nationalities you can find around the University, and I really enjoy making friends from so many different countries. Another of my favourite things is the wide range of extracurricular activities: societies, sports clubs, Give it a Go, Residence Life, and so much more -there’s always something for everyone. Lastly, within my course the laboratory practicals are definitely my favourite part.

Do you like living in Sheffield?

Sheffield is a great city to live in while being a student. Firstly, the cost of living is very cheap compared to other cities in the UK (such as accommodation costs, for instance). One of the reasons why I like Sheffield is that I love nature: in Sheffield there are lots of parks to go to as well as my favourite place to spend the day: the Peak District. It is also a great city if you are interested in culture: there are very good theatres and art galleries. Besides, there are lots of activities available, such as bowling, cinema, ice skating…


What do you hope to do in the future?

I am quite convinced that I want to work in a research lab, partly because of how much I enjoy the practical modules. Lately I have been quite interested in Synthetic Biology and I attended the Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School in Italy this summer, where I learnt more about this topic.I do not have any degree-related work experience, so I wish to do an internship next summer. I want to develop my skills and knowledge to be able to make an impact in human lives, by applying the information obtained from biological molecules in other science fields and in real life, such as medicine, food industry or pharmacology.

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