Andri Neocleous studied a BSc in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds

Andri Neocleous

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I remember visiting Leeds for an Open Day and instantly falling in love with the city. I come from London so I wanted to go to a university in a vibrant and busy city and Leeds is just that.

I love how multicultural it is as well as the large student population. 

There is so much to see and do in Leeds, so it’s almost impossible to ever get bored of it! Even though I’m in my second year now, I still feel like there is so much more I’ve yet to see!

In terms of academia, the University of Leeds has such a great reputation and is highly regarded by the top employers which played an important part in my decision.

I was also impressed by the food tech labs and the modules that the School of Food Science and Nutrition offered at Leeds, so this was also an important factor in my decision. 

Why did you choose to study this particular degree?

I initially wanted to study nutrition and dietetics as I was always interested in health and nutrition so I thought working in health care for the NHS was the obvious route to go down.

As a result, four out of my five university application choices were dietetics with the University of Leeds being the only exception.

However, after the food science and nutrition Open Day at Leeds, I realised that there are so many more potential avenues in the food industry other than healthcare!

Being naturally creative it then became clear to me that new product development and food marketing is where my interests are, so I am so thankful that I attended the Open Day at Leeds or else I would have done a completely different course!

What do you like most about your course?

I like how it’s a fairly small course meaning that I know most of the other students, giving it a more ‘community’ feel.

Also, I think due to the nature of the course, most people have the passion for health and food in common, creating a natural connection.

I was initially taken aback by the amount of physics and maths involved in first year, but I am grateful that the lecturers were extremely helpful during meetings that we organised.

What skills have you gained from your course so far?

I have developed the ability to summarise important key points and take in a large amount of information in a small amount of time.

I have also improved my time management and organisation skills by writing ‘to do’ lists. I’ve also noticed a significant improvement in my lab skills during analytical experiments. 

What were you most worried about before arriving at university?

If I am completely honest, I was generally quite calm about going to university and I was more excited over nervous as I had heard from others how amazing first year at university is.

If I was worried about anything it I was probably moving in to halls with people I had never met before but everyone was really friendly when I arrived as everyone is in the same boat.

What do you plan to do at the end of your course?

Upon graduation I plan to enter the product development sector of the food industry. I am passionate about food so would love to be part of a team that creates products with innovative flavour combinations.

What do you do outside of your studies?

In 2014 I started my own food/fashion/lifestyle blog called Basil and Vogue (basilandvogue.blogspot.co.uk) which I have developed and improved over the years. I enjoy posting student meal ideas, make-up reviews and the highlights of my travels!

I am the secretary of Leeds University Food Science Society (LUFSS) and I really enjoy going to the socials and meeting students in different years studying the same course as me.

I am also the vice president of the Leeds University Yoga Society and I love going to the yoga lessons and use it as a way of keeping fit as well as destressing from uni life.

I am involved in the Bright Futures society, which works with big firms where we arrange events for representatives of these companies to hold CV workshops, placement/graduate presentations. By students attending these events, it aims to boost their employability by being better informed about interview/CV techniques. I am the marketing manager so my role involves promoting these events to the students of Leeds.

I am the student representative for the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and my role involves promoting food events to the students of Leeds.

I am a volunteer for the Real Junk Food Project, which aims to reduce food waste, and educate the public about good nutrition in order to improve our society and environment. I take part in delivering informative assemblies in schools in Leeds which develops my public speaking skills.