You picked Imperial to become a scientist, engineer or a medical doctor. What do these careers have in common? You’ll need to write a lot: scientific papers, grant applications, lecture notes, popular science articles.
As soon as I found out that I’d be studying here, I was immediately filled with petty worries.
This Saturday the South Kensington campus was host to the Imperial Summer Ball. An annual celebration to help students unwind after a long year, there was plenty to keep everyone entertained all night long. Here is a snapshot of my evening with course-mates at the ball…
In the SCR lots of acts from hip-hop dancers to a capella singers took to the stage in front of a crowd of onlookers. As ever, Dance Company was part of the action and I performed with them in a Disney Medley!
One of the main attractions of the evening were the fairground rides.
First year through my eyes
As the end of the year has arrived, it is time to reflect on everything that has happened over the past nine months.
I have moved abroad, started a degree, started relationships with people from all different backgrounds, I’ve experienced the exciting and sometimes lonely London. I’ve spent more hours in the library this year alone than during all of my high school years combined. I’ve created a structure, been taught how flow behaves around aerofoils or how combustion allows us to move forward. I’ve learnt how to overcome drag, both theoretically and figuratively. I have grown, a scary amount.
3 exams down, 6 to go.
You know how they said studying with a friend makes you less stress, yeah well, at this point its not anymore. I mean he made me laugh, he stalked someone (on my behalf-ish), he made fun of the way I’m typing up this very blog, he warned me when there was a secret sales, went to get coffee with me, He made me have fewer mental breakdowns. But being seriously tense and unease, having five mini mental breakdowns a day, all I want is to be left alone.
27 May 2019
You know what I did on Bank Holiday.
22 May 2019 Constantly in denial that I was sleep deprived, sleeping an average of 3 hours a day and surviving on ten cups of coffee a day. The perfectionism, the need for constantly being right and accurate at the same time, led me to this day. The lack of sleep simply put me somewhere between constantly making small mistakes that frustrates me and the paranoia that the one thing that I didn’t perfectly understood was the one thing that would fail me.
Structural Mechanics, a subject that in my opinion requires focus on details, something I admitted lack in this circumstances.
The first day I came to Imperial as a student I vividly remember being told not to spend 24 hours in the library, and yet I spent 36 hours in the library.
20 May 2019 Seconds after finishing my maths exam, I rushed myself to the third floor computer room in Skempton. After feeling like I just failed Maths, I can only fail one other subject, and I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t Computational Methods (the exam I had 2 days after Maths).
Somewhere between overdosing on caffeine and bankrupting over deliveroos, I was at the computer, frustrated and enraged that the codes didn’t made sense to me.
Studying in one of the most expensive cities in the world is one factor that affects people’s decision to study at Imperial College. Rest assured it can be done, but particularly for students like myself who are undertaking a one year master’s course, the different funding options means that money can sometimes get tight. An upside of the course though, is its flexibility in allowing its students to have part-time jobs. Indeed, most students from the Science Communication Unit have part-time jobs, myself included.
I have previously mentioned my job as an Observatory Explainer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, but have not delved into many details.
Did I manage to get an Internship?
Here’s a timeline of how I finally secured my Second Year Summer Internship at one of my favourite companies.August – It’s all about the CV
A year in advance I found myself sitting in the waiting area of an empty careers service getting my CV checked. I would throughly recommend using the service over summer before they become extremely busy in October again. The careers service was able to not only identify key experiences I should include in my CV but also suggested some structural ideas. Whilst I know loads of people who LaTeX their CVs (overkill IMO) I think that you can make a perfectly good CV on Word.
How to successfully navigate applications
One of the hardest parts of being a penultimate year student is juggling applications for internships alongside academic studies. Having just been through this process, I wanted to share my journey and also some top tips on how to survive this time-consuming task successfully! In this first post I will talk about the general process and my top tips!The general steps in the application process
- Online Application – This usually involves providing your personal details, answering some questions about your motivations for this career, listing your previous work experiences. Sometimes you will be asked to provide a CV and cover letter
- Online Assessments – Either with your application or sometimes if you make it through the first round, you will be asked to complete some online assessments.
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I participated in the Three Minute Thesis competition. According to tradition, the winner judges the contestants in the following year, so on Wednesday I had the honour to sit next to prominent science communicators and watch excellent young scientists explaining their research in… three minutes.
This year the Graduate School replaced the Three Minute Thesis competition by the 4Cs Science Communication Competition. Although the idea is similar, there are some differences:
- Not only PhD, but also MRes students could participate.
- While Three Minute Thesis contestants could use only one static slides, this year almost everything was allowed: Power Point presentations, props and whatever else they were able to carry on stage.
There are many aspects of the science communication course at Imperial that make it so enjoyable, but perhaps the freedom we are given is the most rewarding part. In our assessments we are given an element of free choice in what we centre our arguments around, which allows for a great deal of creativity and expression. One of the most daunting free choices I’ve had to make in the last few months has been the topic for my dissertation.
The parameters were simply ‘choose anything that is related to science communication’. Having studied this area for the last 8 months I can confidently say that there is a lot that could be explored.