This is the third academic year of my degree but I am more nervous than when I first started. This year is a lot more clinical than the previous years. Lecture halls have been replaced with hospital wards, practicing taking histories by simulation on my peers has been replaced with actual patients with real illnesses and instead of just learning about management of conditions I am seeing it play out in imaging, surgical theatres and in outpatient departments. I am just coming to the end of my surgical attachment at Charing Cross Hospital where I rotated through several specialties including acute gastrointestinal/general surgery, anaesthetics, breast and urology.
In this term, one of the assignments we had was to create a Quality Improvement Project on a subject of our choice to present to our clinical fellows. This includes identifying a problem that we notice on the wards or in surgical theatres and designing a research to find out more about the problem and an intervention to implement to improve this problem. My team were stumped for quite a while on what to choose before we settled on continuity of care. Every day we came to our surgical placement and it was difficult to keep track of who was in and remember all the doctors, so how difficult must that be for patients that may be uncomfortable, in pain or confused?
At 18 during my interview for Mechanical Engineering I quite confidently stated that I intended to pursue a career in consultancy engineering and eventually become a Chartered Engineer. And the basis for this? About 2 weeks shadowing at a consultancy company and thinking that it might be what the interviewer wanted to hear.
Ultimately, the reality is that when you are applying to university, or even during your degree, you may not have a concrete idea on what career path to pursue. There probably is that one person who knows exactly what they were going to be at 5 years old and is on it from Day 1, but rest assured you have time and resources to decide your vocation.
Being in one of the most prestigious universities in the world comes with its pros and cons. Coming to Imperial has helped pushed me in ways I have never thought imaginable. Looking back, I find it hard to believe the progress I have made and the development I have gone through with the encouragement and support of the university and my fellow friends. However, being in a competitive environment like this can also lead to one oversaturating their focus in order to achieve the most out of everything. In the last few years, I have always aimed to submerge myself into every opportunity I am given, and loved to challenge myself whenever I can by trying out new experiences.
Seeing as A-Level results’ day has now passed, and a whole new cohort of students will be eagerly waiting to start at Imperial in October, I thought now would be a pertinent time to offer some advice on what you DON’T need to bring with you to university. Most freshers have the basics covered pretty well, but often end up grossly overestimating what they’ll need to survive university life. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on five things you can probably just leave at home.
- Excessive kitchenware You may think you’ll need a pizza cutter, toastie maker and corkscrew when you’re at uni, and you may well not be wrong.
Believe it or not, going to university isn’t just attending lectures and passing exams. When you are at university you have an amazing opportunity to boost your CV and prepare yourself for life after you graduate. Honestly, as a medical student, I know I have more time at university than your typical undergraduate but the thought of graduating is already making me a little nervous. Here are a list of tips and advice I have gotten to help build those systems and networks to support you in your career.
Networking is an amazing way to make connections in your industry before you even graduate, go to events and talks run by your university, department or the career service and get curious!
I know, I know, no one wants to hear about the next school year when there is still summer to enjoy but it’s got to be done. I used to think that I had to go buy stationery I won’t use and or books I won’t read to get ready. I still remember stationery aisles in the stores laying bare after the students rush to fill pencil cases. I hate that feeling of turning up on the first day of the new year and already feeling behind. So with that being in mind, here’s a little curated list of things you can do to get you prepared for anything that comes your way.
London is renowned for being a city bursting with activity and opportunities. Equally, it is also notorious for being rather pricey. If, like me, you have the summer holiday stretching long ahead and the UK’s capital at your fingertips, here are a few suggestions for fun days out without breaking the bank.
1. Visit some incredible museums If you’ve ever been to an Imperial open day you may have heard the phrase ‘you have some of the best museums right on your doorstep’ used as a selling point. It’s true- stacked along Exhibition Road besides Imperial’s South Kensington campus are several world-famous museums.
I have been thriving after the end of lukewarm exam season and finally for the love of God, wrapping up my last summative assessment which went well, I think. I finally met up with some friends I have not seen since last year and have missed immensely. We walked to the Boxpark in Wembley and we had a great time. It is basically a huge street food style building with stalls for all the vendors and lots of seating with plants and fairy lights strung up around railings and staircases. The vibes are excellent, but do not forget to bring some ID if you are visiting after 8pm.
London is an amazing city, with vibrant events happening on a day to day basis. But sometimes… this might be overwhelming as well. As someone who isn’t used to living in the city central, being in London might be exhilarating, but can often be terrifying as well. Summer is finally here and with that, I have just completed my third year of studies here as well. After being cooped up at home watching online lectures for a whole year, a few of my friends decided to take this opportunity to try something unfamiliar for all of us. With that, we packed up our bags and went for a short hiking trip in Snowdonia, Wales.