Alina Petre

MSc Sport Nutrition

Why did you decide to study a postgraduate course?

After finishing my Bachelor degree a couple of years earlier and getting a little work experience, I realized that I really wanted to specialize in Sport Nutrition. I was also interested in getting hands-on research experience.

What attracted you to Stirling?

Prior to applying to Stirling, I completed the Sport Nutrition Diploma offered by the International Olympic Committee. The University of Stirling was one of a handful on a list of recommended universities to recent graduates from the Sport Nutrition programme.

I was attracted to Stirling both for their notorious sport science research group and the location of the University.

What did you enjoy most about your time at the University of Stirling?

I enjoyed the openness of the renowned academic staff, being an integral part of the sport science research group, the on-campus conferences from sport nutrition experts, the beautiful campus and the occasional hikes on the hills right behind the University.

Which aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?

My MSc was very hands-on and I was able to be involved in every aspect of my research project from the study design and ethics application all the way through to the participant recruitment, study testing and paper write-up. This gave me a well-rounded view of what research was all about. I also got access to a state of the art sport performance lab, which was pretty amazing!

Finally, I really appreciated being part of a research group, being part of the weekly meetings and getting sport science-related advice from experts in the field. It was a great way to get an insight into the academic research world and to feel part of a team!

Do you think the degree has made you more employable, or better prepared for further study? If yes, what are the key skills? What contacts/networks have you made in your time at Stirling?

I am definitely more employable. I not only have hands-on research experience but am also better able to analyse the strength of scientific research papers. This has resulted in concrete professional opportunities and job offers that would otherwise been harder to come by.

My time at the University of Stirling has also broadened my professional network, specifically in the sport science field. I now personally know experts whom I can email and discuss ideas with and I have also met fellow sport nutrition professionals with which I now collaborate professionally.

What advice would you give a student considering studying at Stirling?

Go for it!

How would you summarise your time at Stirling?

Short, intense, incredibly stimulating and a rich learning experience.

If you have now graduated, what are you doing now?

After graduation, I went on to briefly work for the medical nutrition department of a large international company.

I now own my own nutrition writing and consulting practice and work both with weekend warriors, professional footballers and Olympic level athletes. I’m also regularly commissioned to write about science-based nutrition for online media.