To sustain our life and existence

To sustain our life and existence, we rely on our intelligence, curiosity and desire to further our understanding of the very concepts which define life, such as genetics; and those which threaten life, like disease. In the pursuit of finding my purpose in a rapidly changing life/ age, making a meaningful contribution to society and my passion for science find alignment in the principles and application of Biomedical Science.
My past record, references and achievements testify to my determination and commitment to my academic interests. The transition from South Africa to the UK has particularly been a challenge for me academically. Apart from juggling GCSE English and AS Mathematics in Year 12, as well as studying my A-level subjects, the change in curriculum and in the teaching/learning style has compelled me to reassess the value I have placed on achieving top marks. With less focus on the end-result and more emphasis on meaningful learning, I have developed a greater confidence in the application of my knowledge. I have acquired valuable life-skills such as the resilience to manage an additional work load and the ability to adapt to a completely new country and learning environment; all of which have made for a very rewarding first year in the UK.
My A-level subjects have ensured that I am prepared for studying a versatile research degree. My problem-solving skills have been challenged and practiced through learning to break complex Chemistry problems into smaller, more manageable parts. Biology has motivated me to explore my passion of science beyond the confines of the A-level specification. One topic which I have found interesting is the advancing prospect of personalised medicine and the use of DNA-based technology in patient treatment.
In organising work experience with different hospital departments, as an aspiring scientist, a highlight for me was shadowing a microbiologist/ infection control doctor. I gained fascinating insight of the technology, systems and procedures used to examine clinical specimens within a medical laboratory. In observing the important role that the microbiologist played alongside doctors, as part of a team, in both the clinical diagnosis and treatment of a patient, has since strengthened my understanding of the importance of the application of a laboratory-based science in healthcare.
Volunteering on a ward at my local hospital has proved extremely fulfilling. Not only have I enjoyed forming meaningful relationships with patients and members of staff, but I have also gained insight into the multiple disciplines of medicine. I want to say here that I have seen how application of science is important. Work experience gave me a “theoretical” reason of why it is important but this in my own eyes. Volunteering was REQUIRED for medicine, but how does this relate to wanting to study a science-based degree? I might need to reshuffle because where would the next few sentences fit in? The communication, time-management and teamwork skills that I gained through becoming a St John’s Provincial Cadet and personal development programs, such as ‘Skilled for Life’ and the ‘Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award’ have aided me in serving others as a volunteer, peer mentor and senior prefect.
Growing up in South Africa, I am mindful of the many privileged opportunities that I have been afforded, which are not available to the majority. Not only have I been provided with the best education offered in South Africa, but I have also been fortunate enough to enrich aspects of my life outside academic study, by pursuing my stress-relieving interests such as piano, tennis and water skiing. For this this reason, I have a strong conviction to use my knowledge and skills to the benefit of those less fortunate. With my South African heritage and my experience of third world health and disease issues, I hope to provide a different perspective in studying Biomedical Science. Ultimately, I dream of learning, leading and pioneering with like-minded people, in a field that I believe has the potential to pave the way for medical breakthroughs. As Nelson Mandela reminds us, “There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life than is less than the one you are capable of living.”