Student member stories

Our members share their experiences.

What do our student members think about their journey so far with IOSH? We encourage all our members around the world to tell us what inspired them to study OSH in the first place, what they enjoy most about their membership, and how they’ve progressed since completing their qualification.

Student Members

‘What the Student Bursary means to us’

Lana Wood, Will Bond and Oluwafisayo Olorunnisola have all benefited from the latest round of the IOSH Student Member Bursary.

With a theme of personal and professional development, this time the fund was aimed at Student Members who needed help towards costs such as books, resources and webinars.

“Thrilled and elated” are among their reactions to being awarded the bursary.

Read more about why they applied and how they are spending the money to support their studies and boost their careers.

Ashleigh Wright – why OSH was first-choice career

Getting injured on the first day of her first job sparked Ashleigh Wright’s interest in a career in occupational safety and health (OSH).

Wanting to understand how she could better protect herself and others in the workplace, she applied for a safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) apprenticeship with Abbey Logistics.

Now the 23-year-old, from Connah’s Quay in North Wales, is gaining satisfaction from helping to keep colleagues safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ashleigh said: “Covid-19 has provided me with a unique perception and hands-on experience. It has allowed me to develop my skills faster, adapting to unusual situations, devising strategies in different areas of the business and formulating different solutions to issues that may arise as a result of the virus.

“I have worked throughout the pandemic and lockdown period. For the first two months I was working from home and returned full-time in June to support with the preparation of making workspaces Covid-compliant and ready for the gradual return of my colleagues.

Ashleigh is enjoying expanding her skillset and knowledge through her apprenticeship, which offers her the perfect blend of on-the-job training and learning from highly skilled mentors. She joined IOSH as a Student Member to support her career.

IOSH is the perfect platform to extend my network internationally and learn from others who have already built up successful careers with IOSH’s assistance,” said Ashleigh, whose long-term aspiration is to experience as many areas of OSH as possible.

“The IOSH Career Hub has been a major benefit that I use on an almost daily basis. Topics cover all areas of businesses and provide excellent content.

“One of the most valuable aspects of IOSH membership is being able to build upon my continuing professional development and initial professional development.

“Having access to such a vast array of networking opportunities, mentoring choices, webinars, news and events at any time I want is astounding. I aim to continue my IOSH journey and progress to Graduate Membership to further round my skills and to enhance my career prospects in both my organisation and the wider health and safety network.

Read more about IOSH Student membership, which is free to the first 300 SHE Technician Apprentices to apply.

Julieann McClure – ‘over the moon’ to receive Student Bursary

Future health and safety professional Julieann McClure is practising what she preaches with the help of the IOSH Student Member Bursary.

The Ulster University Environmental Health undergraduate understands the importance of having a dedicated work environment, so has spent her award money on a computer desk and chair now she is studying from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I felt over the moon when my bursary application was accepted,” she said.

“The money came in really handy. I was also able to buy a couple of course books I needed.”

Julieann recommends her fellow IOSH Student Members apply for the bursary – an award of up to £250 – as it’s not just the money itself that is helpful.

“It will look very impressive to future employers that I have been awarded a bursary from IOSH,” she said. “It illustrates my love and passion for a job in the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession and shows I am willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate this.”

Having been a member of IOSH for three years, the final-year student credits the webinars with providing up-to-date, reliable information on the latest OSH matters. This complements knowledge gained on her degree and valuable skills developed during a placement year.

Julieann had her first taste of OSH as a child. “Growing up on a farm, it was instilled in me to think safety first before carrying out tasks,” she said.

While studying for A-levels, she recognised the essential role OSH plays in keeping people safe and decided this was the right career.

“The work of an OSH practitioner has the potential to prevent an accident, lessen the impact of an incident or even save a life, and this is what appeals to me,” added Julieann.

Read more about the IOSH Student Member Bursary.

Lydia Odiase – keeping on top of studies thanks to Student Bursary

Being accepted for an IOSH Student Member Bursary has helped Lydia Odiase keep on top of her university studies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With her assignments moving online, the master’s student has spent her award on a mobile phone data package, enabling her to attend virtual classes and complete coursework.

Lydia Odiase

“I felt so excited and special when I found out my application had been successful,” she said.

“Getting this bursary has gone a long way in financially supporting me during my studies and I would recommend other IOSH Student Members apply.”

Born and educated in Nigeria, Lydia chose to come to the UK to further her knowledge of occupational health and safety (OSH).

Her OSH interest was piqued during an industrial training placement at a health centre, when a doctor picked up an infection because he wasn’t wearing personal protective equipment.

“From that day I learnt that we need to take precautions to avoid negative behaviours that might impact on our health,” she said.

With a Pharmacy degree, hospital internship and health education role under her belt, Lydia is deepening her knowledge on the MSc in Occupational Safety, Health and Wellbeing at Cardiff Metropolitan University and through her membership of IOSH.

“I am learning about procedures and principles involved in living a healthy life to improve the health of others,” she added.

Read more about the IOSH Student Member Bursary.

Tsang Chiu Wong Tony – successful Student Bursary applicant

As a successful safety officer, my research interest involves various subject, including, safety management system, plant pathology, arboriculture-related research. Through my role as a safety officer we need to spread out professional knowledge and skill to improve and enhance safety awareness in Occupational Safety and Health.

At the same time, the bursary plays a main role and function under these difficult times, which encourages me to use the knowledge to change my life and perform the professional knowledge or develop more safety product to help the workers.

Through becoming an IOSH Student Member, you can effectively link with the industry and the Student Member Bursary is a driving force that encourages and gives me the opportunity to develop in this field. The IOSH Student Member Bursary will change me, as I will develop my professional knowledge and contribute to the society in future.



Kelly Clifford - successful Student Bursary applicant

I realised I was interested in pursuing a career in Health and Safety while studying Events Management at University, I realised that I enjoyed the risk assessment module part of the course, as well as looking into crisis management.

I'm currently working towards gaining my level 3 NVQ in Occupational Health and Safety and I am really enjoying learning about this sector and gaining experience through IOSH and Thyssenkrupp Materials UK.

IOSH Mentoring is definitely something Student Members should use. It’s important to get as much guidance and support where you especially if you are brand new into the health and safety industry.



Tsz Kiu Shum, known as Debby – our 1,000th Student Member

It’s my honour to be IOSH’s 1,000th Student Member. I feel very special and excited to hold this ‘title’.

I am studying Occupational Safety and Health Management. By gaining more knowledge and experience, I aim to be part of the industry that helps to reduce the number of OSH-related incidents.

IOSH offers the perfect platform for me to learn and develop my career, as well as extend my network internationally.

There are plenty of valuable resources, up-to-date information, news, training and events available, which I can explore and digest any time I want. I think the member benefits, such as IOSH Magazine, can help me understand different requirements of OSH within various workplaces.

Read the full article about Debby.


Past Student Members

Omni Lam – ‘IOSH membership gives employers confidence in my abilities’

Omni Lam has progressed from Student through Graduate to Chartered status with IOSH in just over two years.

It’s an outstanding achievement for the young, Hong Kong-based occupational safety and health (OSH) professional.

Being a member of a globally recognised organisation is important to Omni, as it has helped him build a successful career.

Now he is sharing his story to encourage others to do the same and show what can be achieved with lots of hard work and the right support.

The 29-year-old said: “I hope I can inspire more people to choose OSH as their career, especially those who are unsure of what they want to do, or which industry to begin.”

Read the full article.

Arjun Nair – ‘OSH is a great career for a young person’

Arjun Nair has achieved a great deal since being advised to pursue a career in occupational safety and health (OSH) seven years ago.

He has gained valuable experience by working full-time, deepened his knowledge through part-time study and broadened his horizons by joining IOSH.

Now 27, Arjun has landed an OSH role with one of the world’s largest investment management companies.

“It’s been hectic but worth it,” he said.

Born and brought up in Singapore, Arjun was working as a driver for a construction company when he was approached by the safety officer.

“He told me OSH would be a really great career for a young person who was looking for something more sustainable to support their family.”

Arjun started work on various projects in the energy and construction industry before securing a place on the BSc (Hons) in Safety, Health and Environmental Management offered by Leeds Beckett University and delivered by the Management Development Institute of Singapore.

He also chose to join IOSH as a Student Member to “gain insights into OSH globally”.

“I didn’t want to limit my knowledge to local environments,” he said. “I found the IOSH webinars very helpful and interesting.”

His final year at university coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, although fortunately this didn’t impact his learning. “I was working from home and found this more productive,” he said.

One of Arjun’s academic highlights was completing his dissertation on workers’ exposure to occupational noise in the oil and gas industry. As he was working on one of the largest development projects in Asia at the time, he was able to conduct his study here.

Upon graduation, Arjun progressed his IOSH membership. “Being a Graduate Member will help me in my career and gives recognition as a qualified safety professional,” he said. “It definitely played a part in me landing my current role.”

A Health and Safety Officer covering the Asia-Pacific region, Arjun is also responsible for ensuring all applicable OSH laws and requirements are being complied with. Plus, he supports the development, implementation and monitoring of OSH programmes globally.

To help him achieve his career ambitions to reach management level, Arjun has now embarked on an MSc in Safety, Health and Environment Technology at the National University of Singapore. He also continues to take advantage of IOSH member benefits and is working towards Chartered status.

“I like the webinars most, as I get to be exposed to various OSH cultures and environments globally without the need to travel to that location to experience it,” said Arjun.

Having found the ideal occupation, Arjun advises anyone thinking about a career in OSH to “just go for it”.

“And become a member of IOSH,” he added, “as they have many resources, mentors and friends who are willing to guide you on your journey.”

Discover more about the benefits of IOSH Student and Graduate memberships.

Tariro Nyamundaya – tackling health inequalities through OSH

Tariro Nyamundaya is passionate about reducing health inequalities.

While working towards her undergraduate degree in Health Studies at De Montfort University Leicester, she researched the effects of the workplace on a person’s overall health.

“I found a poor work life was often linked with a poor home life and health,” said the 23-year-old.

Tariro decided that a career in occupational safety and health (OSH) was the way to bring about change. She applied for an MSc in Heath, Safety and Environment Management at the University of Birmingham and joined IOSH as a Student Member – a combination that has helped her land a coveted OSH job with the National Health Service (NHS).

She said: “The workplace is sometimes overlooked when it comes to health inequalities and I wanted to change this and try a different route, as opposed to just working for a public health department or organisation.

“It’s important that I play a part in reducing factors that can contribute to this poor health.”

Completing her MSc during the Covid-19 pandemic was “challenging to say the least”. Although she finished lectures the week before UK lockdown, Tariro had to make big changes and was unable to carry out dissertation research in her home country of Zimbabwe.

Fortunately, she benefited from the support of her supervisor, course leader, and family in Birmingham, and graduated with a Merit in December via a virtual ceremony.

Having initially joined IOSH because she “knew what it meant across the industry”, Tariro was a regular visitor to the IOSH Career Hub to gain job inspiration.

“I also made use of the resources, such as the practical tests, to help with applications for graduate schemes. These helped me reach the next stage,” she said.

Tariro chose to progress to from Student Member to Graduate status (GradIOSH) to show her commitment to OSH.

“Employers look for this certification and hold it in high regard,” she said. “Plus, IOSH Magazine helped keep me up to date with industry news, which I was able to bring up at interview and I believe this made me stand out.”

She could not have been happier to land a role as a Health and Safety Officer in a Governance/Risk Management department with the NHS in April.

“Getting this job is probably the greatest feeling I have had in a long time,” said Tariro.

Working alongside her manager to collect relevant data, Tariro’s role also includes risk assessments, training, policy reviews, and walkabouts to check people are complying with Covid-19 guidance. She relishes being able to focus on so many different aspects of OSH.

Tariro now plans to build her CPD and progress to IOSH Chartered status. “It’s a good way of monitoring and tracking my professional development,” she added. “Career-wise, I want to gain as much experience as possible, as I am still learning what interests me the most.”

Discover more about the benefits of IOSH Student and Graduate memberships.

Abbie Dawson – ‘membership shows my passion for the role’

Master’s graduate Abbie Dawson is excited to have landed a role so early in her occupational safety and health (OSH) career and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 22-year-old is four months into her job as a Graduate Safety Support at Sellafield Ltd, a large multi-function nuclear site on the coast of Cumbria in England.

Abbie Dawson

She credits IOSH membership with contributing to her success. Abbie said: “Member benefits, such as the magazine, kept me up to date with safety events and changes to legislation, which put me in a good position for the application process. 

“For my employer, membership showed my passion for the role and how serious I was about developing as a safety professional.”

Home-based for now, Abbie is enjoying the challenges and opportunities at Sellafield, which has entered its decommissioning stage.

She said: “I am currently working on safety improvement programmes within different teams. The graduate scheme allows me to rotate between occupational hygiene, conventional safety and radiological protection – giving me the opportunity to develop all areas of my OSH knowledge and gain experience.”

Abbie in graduation gown

Abbie first decided to get into OSH after attending a careers fair in Liverpool while studying for a BSc in Geography.

“I realised the importance of young OSH professionals entering the industry and wanted to help promote positive safety cultures,” she said.

Finding a supportive university was important, and Abbie enrolled on Northumbria University’s MSc in Safety, Health and Environmental Management because of its IOSH accreditation. This is when she joined IOSH as a Student Member.

Due to the pandemic she had to move back home to Cumbria and complete her assignments with limited resources.

“I overcame the challenges by maintaining regular contact with my peers and with support from the university,” she said. “I changed to a desk-based method for my thesis on occupational stress in the student nurse population.”

Abbie Dawson“In a way, the pandemic gave my thesis a unique twist, as I gained an insight into how the stresses of student nurses were heightened by working on the frontline. I was proud to receive excellent feedback for this.”

After completing her course, progressing to Graduate Membership was a natural step for Abbie, who said: “Being GradIOSH is extremely important to me, as IOSH is internationally recognised as the leading body for OSH professionals.

“I enjoy the wide range of webinars and conferences IOSH offers. I look forward to attending Future Leaders events, which allow me to network with like-minded individuals.”

Abbie’s ambition is to become a competent safety adviser after completing her two-year graduate scheme. She also plans to progress to Chartered status.

“I hope this will demonstrate my commitment to making a difference to people’s lives,” she added.

Read more about the benefits of IOSH Student and Graduate memberships

Martino Marcelo Almeida – using tech skills to tackle OSH issues

Innovative Martino Marcelo Almeida is working on ways to use technology to tackle occupational safety and health (OSH) challenges.

The 38-year-old has already applied the computer application skills gained on his first degree to his OSH studies, and plans to do the same with his career.

He said: “The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has opened up a host of new challenges, which are clear indicators that some conventional methods need to change, as well as opportunities to embrace fresh ways of working and learning.

Martino Marcelo Almeida at his desk

“My ambition is to make use of technology, such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, in the field of OSH.”

Martino works as an OSH practitioner in the Middle East and, until recently, was balancing this with a part-time degree in Occupational Safety, Health and Environment (distance learning) with the University of Greenwich. He had to “think outside the box” to complete his dissertation.

I was able to apply the principles of computer technology to reach out to my subjects,” he said. “This helped me to carry out my data collection smoothly.

“As for my career, Covid-19 has forced us to review the way we work on a live construction site. I have been instrumental in devising new safety procedures for workers and other staff.” 

Born in India, Martino’s interest in OSH was sparked when he noted some contractors carried out work with little concern for health, safety and the environment. He decided to deepen his knowledge in this field on a second degree and joined IOSH as a Student Member.

“Being a member of IOSH gives me ample opportunities to improve my skills and OSH knowledge, while contributing to a safer and healthier work environment,” he said. “It is also a great platform to connect with other OSH professionals across the globe.”

One of the free member benefits that Martino regularly accesses is the IOSH Mentoring platform. He said: “My mentors have helped me understand how I can achieve my career aspirations. Our constant interactions have helped me identify gaps in my career and how I can enhance my skills.” 

Having graduated in January, he has chosen to continue his IOSH journey as a Graduate Member to keep abreast of OSH knowledge, skills, market demands and changes in legislation, with the goal of achieving Chartered status.

“As a member of IOSH I have been exposed to new concepts and in-depth research and applying these concepts at my work site has been exciting, so I wish to share my experience with others,” he added.

Read more about the benefits of IOSH Student and Graduate memberships.

Berenice Magaña – ‘Graduate Membership shows my commitment to OSH’

Landing a role as an environmental health officer during the Covid-19 pandemic was “unbelievably fantastic” news for Berenice Magaña.

Having completed her Environmental Health degree, when opportunities to gain industry experience had dramatically reduced, the 39-year-old used every resource at her disposal to boost her employability.

These included progressing her IOSH membership from Student to Graduate status.

She said: “Graduating amid the Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging situations I have ever encountered.

“However, I chose to be positive, put myself out there, make connections, join every webinar available and make myself relevant and known.

“I know being a Grad IOSH shows my commitment to occupational safety and health (OSH) and the value and respect I have for the profession and myself.

“I am a member of a community that truly cares, is humble, responsible, human, and yet has the ability to be critical and embrace challenges. Membership helps me be a confident professional.

Mexico-born Berenice is now four months into her job at Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in Wales. One of her main duties is to ensure business premises have a Covid-19 risk assessment to help minimise the spread of the virus.

The opportunity to help others has given me the most pleasure in my career,” she said. “I have never felt so proud.”

Berenice sees OSH as a “natural choice” after spending 10 years working aboard private yachts.

Safety, health and wellbeing are paramount when you’re away from family and friends for months at a time,” she said. “Fire safety, collision, abandoning ship and man overboard drills are part of every crew member’s job.”

Once Berenice decided to swap winters in the Caribbean and summers in the Mediterranean for life back on land, she headed to Wales to embark on a BSc at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2017.

She joined IOSH as a Student Member during her degree to gain “up-to-date information on relevant topics and support from professionals”.

My go-to favourites are still IOSH magazine – which provides robust articles and case studies and features the latest news and best practices – and IOSH’s informative webinars. I am an audio learner, so these trump everything for me,” added Berenice, whose ambition is to progress to Chartered Membership.

This will mean I have turned my dreams and good intentions into actions that have made a real difference in peoples’ lives.

Read more about the benefits of IOSH Student and Graduate memberships.

Vijayalakshmi ‘VJ’ Subramani – from student to consultant

Building a better life to help my family, friends and colleagues has been at the heart of everything I’ve done.

It’s a journey that has taken me from India to the UK, student to manager and back to student again. That’s when I joined IOSH.

Being a Student Member helped me with my master’s course and career, through its academic poster competitions, practical resources and conferences.

Now I’ve graduated I’m working as a health and safety consultant, advising companies on Covid-19 awareness training. I’ve progressed to being a Graduate Member of IOSH, which is helping me keep up to date with the latest industry knowledge and develop my network.

Read the full article about VJ

Olivia Cockerell – first to achieve membership hat-trick

I see it as a huge privilege to be the first Student Member to progress through Graduate to Chartered status. 

IOSH has been fundamental in my professional development, providing key resources, a standard to uphold and networking opportunities.

I chose Student Membership when deepening my knowledge on a Postgraduate Diploma in Health, Safety and Risk Management.

As I progressed in my career, I simply updated my IOSH membership accordingly.

Keeping up to date with the latest developments in OSH, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, couldn’t be easier with the availability of virtual conferences and webinars, in addition to the resources accessible on the website.

Read the full article about Olivia's membership hat-trick

Stewart Davidson - my logical next step

IOSH Mentoring is definitely something Student Members should use. It’s important to get as much guidance and support where you especially if you are brand new into the health and safety industry.

I found many things from my student membership useful, but I would say that three things in particular benefited me. I began to complete CPD and used a lot of my university work for it, which allowed for a lot of reflective thinking and learning.

I utilised several webinars for my studies too, I was sent regular lists of webinars taking place and I could cherry pick the ones that I found most interesting, were relevant to my current study or fit in with my schedule. These webinars involve experts in their field and are always really informative. Lastly, just receiving the IOSH magazine on a regular basis keeps you informed and up to speed in all things relating to OSH.

Approaching the end of my first year at university and my first year as a student member of IOSH, I was starting to use ‘MyIOSH’ with such regularity that I began to contemplate Technical Membership. When I thought it through, it seemed logical to progress, as I was already completing CPD regularly, completing various health & safety tasks at work, and working my way through my IPD portfolio. Moving to technical membership allowed me to demonstrate that I was serious about maintaining my CPD and allowed me to use the post-nominal designation of Tech IOSH.


Lais Lara - GradIOSH was a no-brainer

What drives me every day is to bring safe behaviours and practices to people’s lives, in a seamless manner that would enable them to take these practices beyond the company’s boundaries and into their daily routine.

IOSH, being well recognised worldwide, opened new doors for me and being a Student Member allowed me access to the very latest news, updates and standards, all which I hold as contributing factors to my career success.

As a Student Member, I had the opportunity to try IOSH’s member benefits, which proved to be very valuable and trust-worthy as a starting point for my research. In addition, being a member of IOSH, a well-recognised institution, further boosted my career opportunities.


The above factors made the decision to join IOSH as a Graduate Member a no-brainer, as I believe true learning does not stop at graduation.

Watch Lais tell us about her progression from Student Member to Graduate Member here.

Nikki Higgins - from Student Member to Graduate Member

As part of the course we were encouraged to become IOSH Student Members to allow us to set up and access CPD, to be able to discuss relevant issues via the forum messaging facilities and to be able to attend local branch meetings to improve our knowledge and increase our professional networks.

Knowing that there was a network of like minded safety professionals from a range of backgrounds belonging to this professional body was really helpful throughout my student membership.  It allowed me to speak to other students and to more seasoned safety professionals.  Additionally, I have been able to take advantage of discounts provided through IOSH Extras to obtain discounted travel insurance and mobile phone contracts.

As the degree that I studied for was accredited by IOSH I knew that successful completion would mean that I was eligible to upgrade my membership from Student to Graduate Member.  Professionally this has meant that employers have recognised my commitment to the health and safety industry, and I have been encouraged to keep my CPD updated and look at beginning the journey towards becoming a Chartered Member.

Darragh Enright – setting goals and recording results

After leaving formal education, I felt it was important to be able to set goals and record results. IOSH, through CPD, makes this possible.

The Career Hub has a number of useful tools which help determine career goals.

My transition into a Graduate IOSH member meant that I was now able to utilise the member benefits at this new stage in my career.

The most valuable part for me was CPD and IPD alongside fantastic networking opportunities provided by an internationally recognised organisation.”

To find out more about Darragh’s career journey, check out his story, build a successful career.

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