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Chemistry Personal Statement

The realisation I wanted to study Chemistry at degree level came with my growing appreciation of its contribution and significance in shaping modern society, coupled with an increasing interest in the subject as my knowledge and understanding have developed. I find the hands-on aspect of Chemistry to be the most stimulating and I relish the prospect of spending time in world class university laboratories reinforcing and developing the concepts I study.

This past school year has been the most exciting. Explanations of electronic configuration, VSEPR theory and oxidation states have superseded simpler models from GCSE level and I look forward to degree level Chemistry where I will study more advanced models that are a closer approximation of the truth. I have found new concepts of organic synthesis and mechanisms particularly intriguing, principally for their application in the pharmaceutical industry.

Following the medicinal chemistry and drug review procedure topics discussed in public lectures at Nottingham University, celebrating the International Year of Chemistry, it was fascinating to witness industrial scale synthesis of drugs at an MSD production plant. The prospect of the extensive range of useful, fulfilling career options as a Chemistry graduate, perhaps in research, the pharmaceutical industry or in the patent field is enticing.

As a scholarship pupil I have worked hard to maintain high academic standards. My choice to study Biology and Maths at A2 level (with AS Further Maths) was influenced by my enjoyment of both, but also by the recognition that Chemistry has a uniquely wide span within the scientific spectrum and important interfaces with both subjects, such as biological polymers and statistics.

I recently attended a five day Headstart Chemistry course at Newcastle University. I was particularly excited by the scale of the laboratories and the chance to use an extensive array of chemicals and equipment. I enjoyed carrying out undergraduate level practicals and using apparatus such as a rotary evaporator for the first time. Having learnt the theory behind Proton NMR spectroscopy at a Cambridge masterclass, it was enlightening to witness a Proton NMR analysis of one of our samples and to carry out my own IR spectroscopy, bringing theory previously confined to textbooks to reality.

I relish opportunities to develop my understanding beyond the A2 syllabus, such as reading of Keeler and Wothers’ ‘Why Chemical Reactions Happen’, the RSC commissioned ‘The Chemical Element – Chemistry’s Contribution to our Global Future’ and partaking in the academic stretch and challenge online Cambridge Chemistry challenge and the RSC Online Olympiad.

Within school I am a prefect and a member of the Community Action group; positions giving me greater responsibility within the school and local community, which I welcome and enjoy. I am currently working towards Gold DoE, which encouraged me to work in a local museum, where a family tree research project has honed my data collection and organisational skills. As a member of the Scout Association for eleven years I have experienced a range of challenging activities, such as walking and canoeing expeditions, which have enhanced my communication skills, perseverance and teamwork.

To relax, I am an avid reader of Fantasy and Science-Fiction, and play the flute, piano and saxophone. Playing competitive badminton for seven years has taught me the importance of teamwork and maintaining composure under pressure. Having qualified as an England Youth Badminton Leader, I now assist coaching junior members of my club. I am very keen to develop my musical and sporting interests at university.

I look forward to fully engaging in all aspects of university life, but as anyone who knows me well will testify, my ultimate focus is the course and I believe I have the necessary determination, application, attitude and skills to be a successful student.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by TKMaximus for application in 2012.

TKMaximus's university choices
Cambridge University
University of St Andrews

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

Degree
Chemistry at The University of Durham

TKMaximus's Comments

I am pleased with the way this turned out, it worked well as I received 4 conditional offers from Durham, St Andrews, York and Warwick and an interview at Cambridge (pooled then rejected). Just missed offer for firm choice Durham, but still accepted.

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