This Personal Statement was part of this student’s successful application to study Natural Sciences at University of Cambridge and Biochemistry at Imperial College London, University College London, University of Manchester and University of Edinburgh
When I was nine, I saw my grandmother pass away in bed. I never really grasped the implications of the situation then. But as I grew older, I found out she had died of colon cancer. I realised that her life could have been prolonged if only we had known how to deal with this terrible disease. I thought that there must be some way to fight off this threat. And after learning more about science, I realised that there was more than one way. Scientists and researchers spend nearly their whole life in diverse fields for a solution to this problem. For me, I see Biochemistry as a highly reliable route for preventing cancer, as cells and molecules can now be manipulated effectively.
At school and college, I have been constantly fascinated by the way molecular structures and bonding affect the properties and functions of cells because these are the areas I believe can be used to treat cancer and other diseases. Furthermore, organic chemistry amazes me as its wide scope opens up many possibilities for the hybridization of drugs to produce more effective medicine. Mathematics too is a very enjoyable subject for me. I have been quite capable of understanding the methods required in solving maths problems relatively quickly and remembering the formulae necessary to solve them
Reading is an important part of my life. Literature in any form, has taught me to have an open mind. To appreciate many different perspectives. To view things accepted as ‘truths’ in a new light. My interest has never been limited to a single genre as reading materials about science, history and culture are among those I peruse. ‘The Origin of Humankind’ by Richard Leakey, has successfully instilled a culture of enquiry in me with its wide discussion covering various points of views. In this way, my passion for reading has improved my understanding of the world and how science has come to affect civilization. It has also given me the ability to be critical and analytical when dealing with a variety of situations.
Representing my secondary school in a national science competition known as the Mighty Minds National Challenge has led me further into the realm of science. This competition taught me that the route to science does not consist of just information, but creativity, innovation, and consistent questioning of the processes that are used to solve a problem as well. Furthermore, my participation in the Yokohama Science Frontier Forum for International Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) has provided me with a first-hand experience of different cultures and international perspectives with respect to scientific progress and research from a country respected for its ground-breaking technological advancements. In preparation for that forum, I spent two weeks with a local scientist in her laboratory where I learnt how to use equipment such as a drying chamber which was used for supercritical drying of the aerogel I made for the forum.
After five years in a boarding school, I feel I am very capable of adapting to living abroad independently. Also as a prefect, I have learnt to be responsible for my actions, communicate effectively and work under pressure. Apart from that, my involvement in rugby has instilled a strong sense of teamwork and dedication into me. Additionally, being in the school orchestra has given me a high level of discipline, commitment and attention to detail, preparing me for the rigours associated with completing a degree.
In due time, I believe that a qualification in Biochemistry in your university will help better prepare me to solve the challenges that our world will face in this era of mass production, environmental hazards, scientific progress and shared responsibility for our Earth. I look forward to contributing as much as possible and working together with the members of your esteemed university to improve humanity’s quality of life in a sustainable and efficient manner.
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