Postgraduate Chemistry Personal Statement
I’ve always been fascinated by science and more recently I have developed a passion for organic chemistry when I purchased a Molymod set and began exploring the molecular structures of compound and understanding how functional groups influence their chemical and physical properties. This is why I want to pursue chemistry at degree level; to further develop my knowledge, passion and curiosity for the subject.
One particular phenomenon that intrigues me is liquid breathing. Originally developed as part of the Manhattan Project, Perfluorocarbons have the unique ability to carry between 20 and 30 percent more oxygen than blood. This has great applications in the military to increase the submersion depths of submarines as it would prevent death from respiratory acidosis.
As a regular listener of ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’, I enjoyed a recent episode commemorating the 150th anniversary of the periodic table. I was intrigued to learn about applications of the 4f elements from Professor Polly Arnold at the University of Edinburgh, in particular the range of uses in mobile phone technology from displaying colours to creating tiny, yet powerful, magnets which allow phones to vibrate.
Last summer I organised and completed a week’s work experience in the research and development laboratories of Southern Group Laboratories, a biochemical company. One memorable moment was being able to independently compete a titration to determine the quantity of solvent required to prepare a standard solution of 6 molar nitric acid to be used on NATO nuclear submarines.
I practiced and observed many quantitative and semi-quantitative tests monitoring bacteria growth on different agar jellies for pharmaceutical testing. The experience I gained working in a strict laboratory environment confirmed that chemistry is the career I would like to pursue. I developed my confidence, teamwork and practical work and realised this is an environment I would like to work in for a future career.
I have completed a bronze CREST award which involved researching and designing an aerial glider for an RAF aerospace competition. Our team achieved first place as well as collecting the teamwork award. This experience was thrilling and very fulfilling as I felt challenged and rewarded for our hard work.
I also took part in a research project in collaboration with Cambridge University where I chose to research autism, giving me an initial glimpse into university life whilst developing my independent research skills. This year I completed a Future Learn course on Composite Bio-Inspired Materials. In order to achieve this I researched self-assembling peptides and their captivating application as a drug delivery system. Doing this course sparked my interest in bio-chemistry and is what influenced me to complete work experience in a biological setting.
My study of psychology and mathematics has equipped me with the necessary skills to study chemistry at university, including statistical analysis, problem solving, as well as resilience and perseverance. In school, I was presented with a black tie, an honour awarded to students for exceptional attitude and behaviour towards learning. I am always enthusiastic, determined and take part in every opportunity presented to me which is why I feel well prepared for the challenges of a degree at university.
Having volunteered with the Girl Guiding Association for four years, I have demonstrated leadership, commitment and responsibility, and am currently working towards my adult leadership qualification, allowing me to complete a future goal of running my own unit. I have taken part in numerous voluntary activities in school including charity events and assisting at open evenings, most recently in the chemistry department where I demonstrated the combustion of methane bubbles.
I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and hope you will consider me for this much sought after place which will allow me to accomplish my goals.
I applied to the following universities and received offers at all five. Edinburgh Leeds Cardiff UEA Nottingham Trent