Victor Yu 01


One huge benefit of taking a postgraduate course is that it gives people an extra opportunity to re-shape a career direction if their undergraduate studies no longer remain their key interest and passion.

That proved to be the case for Victor Yu, who studied geography at undergraduate level before changing direction with an Epidemiology MSc at Imperial College London, which led to his current position as Senior Public Health Analyst at Hertfordshire County Council.

One of many recipients of STWLC’s interest-free education loan, Victor began by recounting his early memories of education.

“I grew up around Birmingham and undertook the majority of my secondary education in the region, plus including a brief stint in the US and Scotland for a couple of years,” Victor explained.

“For my undergraduate studies, I went to Loughborough University in the East Midlands, where I studied geography. I remained in Loughborough for a year after graduating to build up savings to fund my masters, whilst I continued training in athletics in the hopes of securing a sports scholarship, to secure even more additional funding. Unfortunately, I did not get this.”

During his search for funding opportunities, Victor first heard about The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity online.

“I looked at websites which provided information on postgraduate funding opportunities and found the Charity mentioned. Along with STWLC’s loan, I managed to secure grants from several other charities which also aided in my masters funding.”

With finances secured, Victor commenced a move away from his geography undergraduate studies to instead follow his interest in epidemiology.

“The course content was centred around principles of biostatistics, public health, and epidemiology, taught by world renowned researchers,” Victor continued.

“In the second semester, students were given the choice of more specialised modules, which involved more advanced content around infectious disease modelling, statistical methods like machine learning and advanced regression, and spatial modelling of diseases. The course cumulated in a several month dissertation project, where I worked with researchers on developing a large Bayesian statistical model examining global trends in childhood and adolescent height.

“The course was paramount in helping me transition to a quantitative field related to health,” Victor added.

“Without having done the course, it would’ve have been much more difficult for me to have entered the field and to reach where I am today as I came from a fairly unorthodox undergraduate background, in contrast to my peers who had done degrees like biomedical science, clinical degrees, pharmacy and mathematics.”

It’s clear that Victor’s postgraduate studies have been instrumental in shaping his desired career, and he concluded with a glowing review of the Charity’s interest-free education loan, which helped to make it possible.

“It sounds cliché, but I like the idiom that life is like a box of dominoes falling in to place. Being accepted for the loan has given me all of the experiences of my life since graduating and where I am now. In addition, with the loan being interest-free with a long repayment period, you appreciate the altruism the Trustees have in seeing their applicants succeed, over purely monetary gain.”

If you’re considering postgraduate education like Victor and need funds for tuition or living costs, please click here to read more about our interest-free education loans.

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