I guess many of you came across Imperial Horizons when doing research about our university. For those who didn’t: it’s free classes (held once a week at 4-6 PM) which give you a chance to learn something outside of your main course and get it indicated in your final transcript. There is a really wide range of topics available for every student and once chosen wisely (read on!), it’s a great way to jump away from your everyday lectures and labs! Horizons isn’t only about languages: the picture shows what modules I could pick for this year.
Just about a year ago, I was an anxious fresher leaving home with my pots and pans, duvet and towels. I was ready to trade my cherished baguette and cheese for tea and scones. I was a fearless soldier ready to survive at Imperial. Here I am a year later after having proudly honoured that red lanyard and currently on my way home for Christmas. On top of the smell of mulled wine and roasting sweet nuts, there definitely is something magical in the London air around Christmas. Magic that is definitely worth sharing.
Christmas mingling at Imperial
For many students at Imperial, the weeks leading up to Christmas are associated to exams and coursework deadlines but are paradoxically not restrained to indulging endless cups of coffee at the library.
When I was on my first year, I remember every single second year people said, second year is gonna be tough. Two weeks in, and I feel great, I feel better than ever.
You know why I feel great. I spent my first year, trying to figure out the person that I wanted to be, doubts and all. In the process, I jeopardize my academic record, and I had to push so hard a week leading to exam week, that I felt like my body are disintegrating. I slept in one of the exam room, during the exam. The worst thing that could happen on exam week happened to me.
My 2nd Year of Medical School was a rollercoaster to say the least. I’m going to use a couple of words to describe what was probably the most interesting year of my life so far.
2nd Year was such a blur to me. I remember starting the year off by becoming a ‘medic parent’ to my lovely children who were 1st Year medics. It’s a great tradition we have here at Imperial (and quite a few other unis) where you’re given the option to have parents in the year above you who guide you through the year and can act as a support system especially in those first few weeks of university.
Coming to Imperial was honestly surreal for me, it felt like a dream, and when I woke up it was exam time, and I had to fought tooth and nail to survive. Until I was actually in London, there was always a possibility at the back of my mind to back out. I wanted the easy path, the “I know I can ace every
single class”, which was why Imperial was sort of my second choice. Yes, you heard me, it was my second choice, despite the fact that tons of people are dying to get in.
I know from the beginning, that Imperial would be hard, so I lost hope since the beginning.
And just like that third term is over! In keeping with my previous end of term blogs I thought I’d stick to tradition, but this time use songs from some of the best-loved Disney films to round up my final term at Imperial.
We finally reached the practical option term of the masters course and I chose to take courses in radio and documentary. For radio, I produced a short piece about cultured meat and together with some course mates, produced a short documentary called ‘the sun shines for everyone’. It was an incredibly busy term with not much time for reflection as it progressed, but looking back on it now I learnt so much and gained experience to aid me in the future.
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.
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.
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.