After ten weeks of lectures, problem sheets, weekly tests and repeat, with the odd excitement of computing coursework, I am wondering how I made it through this term without getting too exhausted of the cycle!
I had one of the most fantastic days on Wednesday as I graduated with my intercalated BSc! Imperial graduations occur at the Royal Albert Hall, which is just such a beautiful venue to celebrate in.
Let’s face it: living in London is expensive. It might sound scary, especially that for some of you the first year of the university will be also the first year when you have to be fully responsible for your finances.
The MSc in Business analytics is an intense year of rigorous technical and quantitative training. It prepares students to solve business problems using a variety of statistical, operations research and machine learning techniques.
What you learn in class is usually just a small part of what you end up doing in group projects and homework. There is a huge amount of good resources you can use to learn new material or enhance your knowledge in a topic.
In this blog, I wanted to share the most useful sources I found in case you’re planning to pursue this program at Imperial.
Before you start the program: the basics
Statistics and probability
Start by revising your math skills in statistics and probability.
Eating healthier, becoming more athletic and so on can be found every year again among the Top 5 New Year’s resolutions. However, several studies show sobering results. Already after 2 weeks (roughly now) the first ones will start dieing off again, in March 75 % of the resolutions are supposed to be forgotten.
Every one of us knows this: sometimes you are sporty, sometimes you are not. The causes are as diverse as the cultural diversity of the Imperial College. Exam phase stress, social projects or permanent events such as weddings, birthday etc. We live in a busy world.
Nonetheless, it is essential to constantly re-evaluate oneself and at least return to basic forms of exercise.
When I first found out I’d be based at the St Mary’s campus instead of the main Imperial College stamping ground of South Kensington, I was apprehensive.
“I’m going to miss out on college life.” was my first thought.
“Does this mean they only serve hospital food?” was the other.
After a term here, I can happily say that I have not had any cause for FOMO, nor had to eat from any hospital canteens. I am also a bit better qualified to give you an insider’s look at life at St Mary’s. If you’re going to be starting a term here soon, this is your jam.
Living in Halls
For first year my allocated accommodation is none other than Woodward (WW) a.k.a #DiamondofImperial a.k.a Alaska (because it’s low-key a trek from campus).
In case you aren’t sure how it works, all first year undergrad students are guaranteed a place for accommodation as long as they accept Imperial as their firm. I received an invitation to apply for accommodation in July- you get to choose 5 preferences but these are all ranked equally.
My halls consist of three blocks: B, C, and D (I’m not quite sure what happened to A). I was lucky to end up in block D- where the kitchens have panoramic views. *Insert heart eye emojis* At WW, all the rooms are ensuite and we’ve also got an on-site two storey gym, music rehearsal rooms, study spaces, a common room complete with pool and foosball tables, etc.
The mission of my life is to show people surprising ways of using maths. However, today I’ll make an exception: I’ll talk about an example of maths abuse.
Surely you’ve heard that tomorrow we have the Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year. Even restaurants and shops all over the UK become almost charities by offering great deals (I can’t believe I just linked you to the Mirror!) to make this day a bit brighter for us, customers – I’m sure they do it solely out of goodness of their hearts, without any profit…You might also have heard that it was scientifically proven and that this date is found using a mathematical formula.
Moving on as an Oxbridge reject
Getting rejected from Oxbridge is one of those moments where you feel like you’ve lost control and things haven’t gone how you wanted or expected them to go, leaving you feeling utterly discouraged. Maybe you feel like you’ve let yourself or someone else down, or maybe you feel annoyed or angry. Perhaps you feel drained, not seeing the point anymore and wishing you hadn’t tried in the first place.
Whenever you do feel like any of these, from disappointment to frustration it is most important to share how you feel with someone, I know it can seem like the hardest thing to do but it will definitely help you cope better.
Phew! Relax, that’s the end of the first term.
What a rollercoaster ride it has been. Never again will I complain at the start of term when things seem to going quite slowly for the first couple of weeks; we finished the term with two major pieces of coursework to be submitted, an intensive week-long module on entrepreneurship (very interesting, by the way – I may come back to that in a future blog…), an exam and a presentation. All in the final seven days. Wow.
There was a palpable sense of relief at the end of term party. This was in two stages: firstly the more formal part, in the student room, where several recent alumni had been invited to join us for a networking event, and where the other main pass-time was changing the selection of the Christmas music playlist and the video of Christmas trees or yuletide logs ablaze on winter fires.
In the last blog entry, I showed you how to optimize your laptop hardware. Now I’d like to show you my three favorite tips for making a quantum leap on the performance side itself.
When you think about what amount of mouse movements we daily do across the screen, you could realize that there is a huge loss of time. Fortunately, there is a free shortcut for most common programs: Shortkeys! Personally speaking, I’m always happy when someone shows me a useful shortkey.
In the meantime, there are also many websites that list the most common shortkeys of e.
Let’s face it: doing a PhD isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. The process can be painful and annoying, and at some point you’re probably going to get completely stuck. If you’ve ever done any research, you definitely know what I’m talking about.
There’s something you need to do, usually some task that was supposed to be easy – a toy example, an almost standard code, a “quick” experiment to check your hypothesis. And here you are, spending long hours, days, weeks, even months, not even closer to solving your problem. You’ve tried everything, used all possible sources you could find, but this devil isn’t giving up.
Has it really been almost a year since I had my medical school interviews?
To get me through the preparation process, I recall going through endless online resources (TSR is great!) reading through interview tips, experiences, etc. So I thought it would be exciting to add to the wealth of online material and offer a post with some advice and a bit of an insider’s view to what my interviews were like!
I attended three interviews last January/February- two of which were panel (Imperial and Queen Mary/Barts), and one MMI (Newcastle). This is where I sheepishly admit that I personally found the Barts one most enjoyable (promise I’m not a traitor); whereas the Newcastle one was half a disaster- MMI was not my friend!