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Interview with programme graduate Pranvera Hiseni

Pranvera Hiseni moved from Kosovo to Hamar to study Applied and Commercial Biotechnology. (Photo: Pranvera Hiseni)

Pranvera Hiseni moved from Kosovo to Hamar to study Applied and Commercial Biotechnology. 

Why did you choose this study programme?

- It is highly relevant to my career expectations.

What was your perception of the study programme?

- The programme’s requirements were high, but it was very carefully designed so that students with different backgrounds could reach them at the same pace.

What did you learn about?

- We learned about the most common and recent biotech methods related to reproduction, molecular biology and bioprocessing, while also going through Intellectual Property Rights strategies and case studies on bioethics. My focus during my thesis was on molecular biology and bioinformatics, so I got to learn a lot about DNA sequencing, designing of probes and experiments, data analysis and interpretation.

What was the best thing about your studies?

- During my thesis, I was working with a novel genotyping method invented by my supervisors, which gave me the opportunity to outgrow myself and feel as a part of something that has a great importance.

What did a typical day during your studies look like?

- During the first year, the first part of the day was mainly busy with lectures, the other part with preparing lab reports or additional homework. When I started to work on my thesis, in the second year, a normal day was a long and eventful day at lab.

How was the course of studies organized regarding lectures, independent work and practical work?

- Depending on the study subject, we would either work individually or in groups. Besides our regular professors, we had many guest lecturers, mainly people working for different biotech companies who would introduce us to a part of their work that was related with our studies. The practical work involved work in groups in lab, while compiling the reports for such lab courses was individual and required independent thinking.

How was the social environment in the classroom?

- It was a very friendly environment. We were not too many students, so we got acquainted with each other very soon.

Who is suitable for this kind of education?

- I’d say anyone who really loves it and is a consistently hard-worker.

Do you need to have any background knowledge to study what you did?

- Studying biotechnology requires that you have a background in any of the biological sciences, with an emphasis on molecular biology and biochemistry.

What can you do when you’re finished with the study programme?

- You can either pursue a PhD degree in the field or get an excellent job as a researcher in one of the rapidly increasing number of biotech-related companies.

How are the job opportunities after you’ve finished your education? Does the programme prepare you for working life?

- During the studies you are provided with all the tools needed to become a critical thinker and organize your own work. Moreover, a lot of the studies are in close cooperation with companies in the area, which is an excellent opportunity to get trained for the job market.

What’s the best thing about Hamar as a campus?

- Hamar is relatively small, but exquisitely charming! It doesn’t take long before you feel like home. The surrounding nature is beautiful during all seasons.  

What are the advantages, as you see it, to study outside the big cities?

- You get to know the people around you better and vice versa. You get appreciated more for what you have to offer since everyone has special qualities that contribute to the overall picture. Regarding the opportunities related to your career, it is an excellent way to be recruited for a job that you’re best at and you really enjoy.