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“There are many ways in which an individual can make a positive contribution to society; the trick is to find the route which is most fulfilling for each and every one, thereby enabling all to contribute to their maximum potential”. These inspirational words were spoken by my Headmaster at a prize-giving ceremony several years ago, and have stayed with me to the present day. They have, I believe, acted as the one of the principal motivations in my choice of Degree and, I hope, my eventual career.
The study of Pharmacology appeals to me on so many levels. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by Science; from the time I joined the after-school Science Club at my Primary School, and invariably asked for science experiment kits for Birthday and Christmas presents! Nor was this a five-minute wonder. I was identified as ‘Able, Gifted and Talented’ in Chemistry and Biology in my first year of Secondary School, and this enabled me to take part in various courses and summer schools which I found very stimulating, and which fired my enthusiasm even more, and I went on to gain As in Biology and Chemistry, and A in Maths at GCSE.
In my GCSE year, we were required to undertake two weeks of work experience. I arranged a placement with a local school laboratory, assisting with the preparation of experiments for Science classes. I found this extremely interesting work, especially viewing an environment, with which I had been so familiar as a pupil, from the other side of the table. I recently completed the programme for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award which was both rewarding and challenging. For the volunteering element, I helped at my local Hospital Radio, which partly involved visiting patients on the wards, to collect requests from them. They often welcomed the opportunity to talk to someone about their health concerns, and I think that this gave me an insight into the impact which illness and disease have on individuals, and has increased my desire to work in a field where people are striving to find solutions for many serious health problems.
I have always enjoyed the process of gathering, analysing and interpreting data from experiments, and presenting the results in a coherent format. I realise that there are also ethical issues involved in the research into, and development of, drugs – in particular the issue of ‘in vivo’ research involving animals, which can be very controversial. However, when arguing the case, I find that most people agree that if such research, which is strictly regulated, produced a cure or treatment for the illness of a relative or close friend, this would counter any doubts as to its morality.
I have many and varied interests aside from my academic studies. I was a member of the school Chess Club for a number of years, winning the School Chess prize three years in succession. I enjoy the intellectual ‘combat’ of playing chess, and I feel that my success in this field demonstrates an aptitude for logical thought. I also belong to a local Amateur Dramatics Society, helping behind the scenes with lighting and sound. I relish the opportunity this gives me to help formulate ideas to assist with setting the atmosphere for a production and achieving the effect the director is looking for. I have also played rugby for my local team for a number of years now, and as part of my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme, I began to assist with the coaching of younger players. This is a role which I have been happy to carry out up to the present time.
Since gaining ‘A’ levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths, I have taken a Gap Year in which I shall be working, and then intend to travel during the summer. I have been lucky enough to have recently found employment as a Laboratory Assistant with a Pharmaceutical company, which will give me further experience in my chosen field. My ultimate goal is to combine my aptitude for scientific analysis, and my desire to make a lasting contribution to society, and put them to the best possible use. To my mind, there is nothing more important than working to alleviate suffering, and I think I can best use my talents and interests by pursuing a career in drug research and development.
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