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Career boosting travel opportunity in Arizona

A study trip to a real-life plane crash in the Arizonian desert was the first thing Robin’s new employers wanted to know about. It was also the thing that stood out for Robin at the Open Day for his course.

Robin Duffy studied a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation.
Robin Duffy studied a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation.

The first question Robin’s new employers, the Kenyon International Emergency Services, asked him when interviewing him for his job was about his Year 2 study trip to Arizona. It was an experience that earned him a qualification in disaster victim identification (DVI) as part of his BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation.

The America trip was quite an experience, remembers Robin:

“We worked on an actual plane crash disaster, identifying those who had died through personal items and by using forensic photography. The accident had happened a few years ago and I was out of my comfort zone, including operating in extreme temperatures in what is effectively a desert.

"We had to work as a team to find everything. I was team manager of one team, so we had little searches and went through the different processes for DVI, which included the ante-mortem, recovery and identification of the deceased. It meant wearing a full scene suit and working in 45-degree heat."

Robin says his University of Central Lancashire programme helped him to get to where he is now. And that when competing for a job an overseas experience makes you stand out. He advises anyone to take-up travel opportunities to boost their prospects.

“The trip to Arizona was advertised during the Open Day, so I was interested from the start,” Robin explains.

It’s also an experience that helps him now. At any moment he can be sent to investigate a foreign environment.

“What made me choose this University was the lecturers’ enthusiasm. There’s a mixture of academics and practitioners, so to hear from people who’ve actually been out in the field is compelling.”

Ultimately, Robin believes he wouldn’t be where he is and achieved what he has done without the help of his lecturers and making the most of the University study opportunities. It’s inspired him to continue with his studies, through a master’s course.

“Travelling is something I always wanted to do, I’m currently studying my Master’s in Fire and Emergency Service Management and Disaster Management, and it all started with that trip to Arizona.

In terms of what next, Robin would like to live and work permanently in America, with his end goal being to work for the New York Police Department (NYPD). In the meantime, he’s looking at detective roles closer to home, in the UK.