Biomedical Sciences Personal Statement
What I love about science is that it has yet to offer the 'best' way for anything. Man will always find ways to do things better than before, quote: "Wherever the knowledge takes us, it will empower us to do more." I want to be part of the cutting-edge science that optimises this for the good of medicine and man.
What captivates me about human biology is that I am studying my own species. I'm asking that awkward question that all children ask, "Mummy where did I come from?" and in addition to this, and to put it simply- the human body is an organism that never ceases to make me smile. That trillions of cells work in synchrony is a feat I believe is unmatched. The human body is by no means perfect, however, and disease is an area of human biology that fascinates me. I cannot think of a better way to live than to contribute to the health of people and I am therefore looking to a career in biomedicine with a view to research.
A key moment for me was observing Yeovil Hospital's Head of Andrology, Paul Hancock, using microscopy for sperm analysis. We discussed problem solving and practical techniques, which helped to diagnose symptoms in a particular patient. I found this a very stimulating and fulfilling experience, and was able to relate it to the cell structure my AS biology course had taught me.
I have felt that AS and A2 biology courses have positively stretched and challenged me, taking me further into complexity and understanding. I believe Chemistry A-level has added an extra dimension to me in molecular biology. I find awe-inspiring the way amino acids, drug synthesis and chiral activity make such an impact in human physiology.
Biology is not only a subject for me but also a hobby. I take part in additional activities, such as participating, and winning 1st prize, in the school science blog. I enjoyed the Horizon TV documentary on the impact of the human genome in treatments of cancer and cystic fibrosis, where research is playing a vital role. I update myself with New Scientist articles as I find these help develop my general background science, like how the discovery of mole rats' immunity to cancer could be implemented into humans.
I believe that I am prepared for university life. I have visited 6 universities and am excited at the prospect of attending lectures, lab experiments and learning from active researchers. I am very confident at computing and can touch-type.
I also believe that I have a number of qualities in leadership, management and team working that I can bring to university life. I am a senior prefect, which gives me the responsibilities to supervise several junior classrooms, manage junior prefects and be a student ambassador on open occasions. In addition, I am a qualified volunteer First Aider at St John Ambulance, which I have decided to take beyond the required 6-month period of my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.
My main hobbies include music where I have played 1st Clarinet in the Big Band and Senior Woodwind Ensemble in the school since Year 8. I am a passionate pianist and have my own rock band where I play bass guitar and sing. I am a previous deputy-head boy chorister of Sherborne Abbey, where I was featured as a soloist in the choral album. Sport also plays a big part of my life as I play District Men's Hockey, District U18's Football and have regularly taken part in both for my school. My shared interests in sport and biology often benefit each other, which was shown during my GCSE Health and Social Care unit where I reported a self-evaluation of my exercise, nutrition and behaviour and attained full marks.
I see myself making a career in biomedicine, as I was fortunate to have opportunities to observe 5 medical professionals in the areas of andrology, pathology, cardiac rehabilitation, blood transfusion, and geriatrics. The courses I am applying for will take me one step further to reaching this goal.
This personal statement was written by Alex Tam for application in 2011.
Alex Tam's university choices
University of Plymouth
University of Surrey
University of Sussex
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
Biomedical Sciences at Lancaster University
Alex Tam's Comments
This is the 12th and final draft of my personal statement. For those of you who have trouble writing your statement, I thought the best thing for me was to write down everything I was good at on a piece of paper and then get your family or friends to add things to it. Get as much help as you can from your teachers at college or 6th form; I went to every single one of my subject teachers, my tutor (who also happened to be head of UCAS at my 6th form) and my head of 6th form.
No matter what you get in your AS levels, a bit of hard work will always fix it. I played a lot of football and just generally did nothing in my first year of A-levels, and funnily enough only got DDD. In my second year some of the friends from the first year dropped out and I was able to concentrate on my studies much more. Since I got such low AS level results, I was given CCC as my predicted grades and there were no good universities that would accept me on that basis. Tell your teachers to give you higher predicted grades if you think you can achieve. I persuaded them based on the fact that if I had such low predicted grades (I was looking at a university with ABB requirements) the universities wouldn't give me a conditional offer, and if I achieved ABB at the end of A2 that would leave the teacher in a very bad position since I wouldn't get into university with a good set of grades. In order to help you on your way to improving, private tuition is always a good option if you need retake help and there are no AS classes you can drop into. Retakes are very important, since they are usually easier to do and yet are worth the same marks as the exams in A2. At the end of my second year, after retaking every single exam from my first year I raised from a DDD to an ABB. It can be done. Good luck!
This personal statement is unrated