Biology Personal Statement
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by all living things. Throughout my childhood travels I have encountered many natural wonders in various parts of the world, from the giant redwood forests of California, to the rich variety of aquatic life populating the coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, which have all greatly inspired my imagination. Studying Biology at school, especially at A-Level, has made me realise the broad spectrum of fields the subject encompasses, and I am eager to study the different areas in greater depth.
Reading around the subject has allowed me to extend my biological knowledge beyond the A-level specification. I am particularly interested in evolution, undoubtedly one of the central concepts underlying Biology. David Attenborough's 'Life on Earth' helped me to understand the major events in the evolution of life by considering animal and plant species which are alive today, whilst Richard Dawkins' 'The Blind Watchmaker' drew my attention to the importance of Darwinian natural selection. I have enjoyed books by Steve Jones such as 'The Language of the Genes' and 'In the Blood', as they provide a fascinating insight into many of the issues associated with human genetics and heredity. I also read New Scientist magazine, and have been particularly intrigued by recent articles exploring the various controversial ways in which we may attempt to combat global warming, such as ocean fertilisation and geoengineering.
During the Summer I participated in a 'Biosciences Boot Camp' run by Babraham Research Institute, which gave me a useful insight into the world of biomedical research and enabled me to explore a range of career possibilities. I had the unique opportunity to work alongside a team of researchers in the molecular signalling laboratory, and I learned how to carry out polymerase chain reactions and use TIRF microscopy to observe the activity of signalling enzymes within cells. I was also able to attend various talks and lectures held at the institute, and hearing Professor Michael Berridge talk about his life's research was inspirational, definitely one of the highlights of the week. After the boot camp I was invited back to the Institute for two further weeks of work experience, during which I conducted my own small scale research project investigating the effects of PI3 kinase inhibitors on the activity of mouse neutrophils. Carrying out different experiments improved my practical technique, and I learned about the importance of good planning and the use of controls.
As a student I am able, conscientious and focussed. My enthusiasm for my subjects has given me the motivation to succeed academically, and I was delighted to receive the Governors' Award for Excellence at the end of last term. Life in the Sixth Form is rewarding, and being a senior prefect has allowed me to become more involved in the school community. For the past year I have been able to develop friendships with some of the younger students by participating in the mentoring scheme, and have enjoyed assisting the charities team at numerous fundraising events.
Among my non-academic interests I play flute in the school orchestra, and have sung in the choir for six years. I am also an enthusiastic member of the rowing team with an ever growing passion for the sport. Outside school I am an active member of my local riding club and regularly compete in various equestrian disciplines including cross country, show jumping and mounted games. Although owning a horse of my own is a huge responsibility it is nevertheless enjoyable, and has certainly taught me to manage my time effectively. I am looking forward to living independently, and feel ready to take advantage of all the challenges, academic and otherwise, that I will encounter at university.
This personal statement was written by estoye for application in 2008.