Geophysics Personal Statement Example

The recent discovery of a ‘snow bank’ surrounding the inner core of the earth demonstrates that much of our planet is a mystery to us. Geophysics is an area of study in which new research is constantly shaping the way we view earth and yet there are still so many unknowns. The potential of being involved in cutting edge research such as this, has attracted me to the subject. Studying Geophysics enables me to build on my knowledge and skills in Physics, Maths and Geography, allowing me to possess a deep knowledge of the world around me. I am attracted to the prospect of a stimulating and diverse career, with the opportunities to collaborate with other industries. I developed a strong interest in seismology and tectonics whilst studying Geography A-level. In order to pursue this, I have studied further A-levels in Maths and Physics.

I confirmed my wish to study geophysics during work experience with an engineering firm. Whilst there, I was inspired by the geotechnical role of assessing the structure of the seabed in order for it to be built on. I applied my maths skills to real-life problems, and as a result decided to start my own project, designing an earthquake resistant research centre. To do this, I researched the effects of seismic activity on manmade structures and learnt about how base-isolation is used to absorb seismic energy. Despite my work experience being focussed on engineering, I relished the chance to become fully involved in the geological side of planning. I experienced project management and method statement writing and gained invaluable team-working skills. I also had the opportunity to use a Trimble and process my collected data in MatLab and AutoCAD. Following this, I completed a maths course run by Imperial College, to support and build on my A-level maths, whilst enjoying the challenge, I learnt that I am more attracted to the real-world application of maths. I also furthered my knowledge in geophysics by completing a seismology course. I was particularly interested in Japan’s earthquake early warning system, in which a network of 1100 stations are used to detect earth tremors.

Throughout school I was given recognition of my maths ability by competing in the Maths Challenge for five years. I often supported teachers in helping students in the subject and my contribution and work ethic was rewarded with becoming a school prefect. For my Geography A-level coursework, I investigated how the geophysical landscape of a valley in North Wales contributed to flooding. This involved gaining a deeper understanding into geology in which I learnt about the varying infiltration rates of rocks, like clay and limestone. Complementing my mathematical ability, my high performance in English and Media A-levels has made me a confident and articulate communicator. These skills have been greatly beneficial to tasks involving presentation and teamwork.

As an outdoor enthusiast, the environment and community are important to me. I am a member of Surfers Against Sewage and have raised money for local charities by skydiving. I am a keen walker, surfer and climber, completing my NICAS levels in 2015. I gravitate to challenging environments, my next pursuit being Costa Rica. It is home to six volcanoes and a mega thrust fault along the Cocos subduction zone. I will be climbing Arenal Volcano and Cerro Chirripo. Visiting these geological features will teach me more about Central America’s geology and build on ideas I have encountered in my studies and extra reading.

The challenge of studying Maths and Physics A-levels independently and in a year has required dedication and commitment. My self-motivation has been fuelled by my desire to study Geophysics at a leading institution and to achieve beyond expectations. To make this possible, I have had to adopt a mature mindset and stringent time management skills. I believe my determined attitude towards education has prepared me for the demands of studying a Geophysics degree.

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