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When Luke Forrest attended the University of Reading's Open Days, he was awakened to the many areas of study in the biological sciences.

It was zoology in particular that captured his attention as he could see how it could lead to jobs in conservation, research, pharmaceuticals, veterinary sciences and even consultancy and corporate roles.

Why Luke chose Reading

Luke chose to study at Reading for a number of reasons. He was aware of the University's international reputation for research in the natural sciences and he knew that all of the modules were taught by leading researchers in their fields.

He was also excited by the prospect of getting involved in the research during his dissertation. But there were non-academic reasons too – proximity to his family and friends in London, as well as opportunities to get involved in sport.

Luke takes a placement

In September 2015, Luke started his one-year placement with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), a government organisation that delivers specialist services in science and technology to the Ministry of Defence and wider government.

“Originally, I hadn't planned on doing a placement year as I didn't understand how it would benefit me. However, by my second year, it was evident that the market outside university was very competitive and I could see how a year in industry would give me an advantage over other graduates applying for jobs."