Chemistry Personal Statement

My love of Chemistry is first of all a matter of straightforward intellectual curiosity.  I love the challenge of a problem and Chemistry and Mathematics have always been the subjects which, for me, have offered this opportunity above all others.  In addition to my enjoyment of its mysteries and processes, I am very much aware of the importance of the subject for the modern world.  Chemistry is involved in everything around us, in the food we eat, the fluids we drink and the air we breathe.  Furthermore it has allowed the modern world to become what it is.  Chemical knowledge and know-how has underlain many of the key developments in technology which have allowed us to live our present day lives, from the design of antibiotics and drugs, to the new materials available to the engineer and the architect, to the fertilizers which have made it possible for the world to feed its present massive population.  A degree in Chemistry also opens doors to a wide range of careers.  My own ambitions are to use my knowledge and skill to help people, perhaps by working in the pharmaceutical industry or a company which promotes human health through technological means.  I am logical in my thinking and creative in the way I can find routes towards the solutions of apparently intractable technical problems, and I believe that these qualities and enthusiasms, together with my excellent academic record, hold out the prospect of considerable success, both in the degree course and in my future career. I particularly enjoy laboratory work and have developed something of a facility for the practical, rarely finding it too difficult.  I enjoy mixing solutions and finding something new. For me chemistry is entertaining! My particular love is for organic chemistry, and I like balancing complex reactions. For example, I am very interested in the oxidation of alcohols to produce aldehydes and then carbolic acid.  I am keen to discover more about chemical bonds in materials such as methane and carbonyl compounds.  I very much enjoy Chemistry Review magazine, and recently read an absorbing article about arsenic poisoning resulting from drinking water from some wells, leading to lung, bladder and liver cancers.  The toxic metalloid can also be ingested through inhalation.  It is the workings of such compounds which spark my scientific curiosity and inspire me to seek further into the subject. Every area of the science interests me and grasps my imagination and makes me want to expand my studies, possibly culminating in a PhD.

My school record is very good, and I am in the fortunate position of having three languages. Languages seem to me to be of the utmost importance in an increasingly international world, and for the professional scientist they are more important still.  It is chemists who will find ways of dealing with the huge problems confronting the world – overpopulation, energy, pollution and threats to human health – and this is certain to be an international effort.

While at school I was an active volunteer worker.  I worked in a charity shop for some months, learning about people’s needs and how to communicate clearly.  I also worked as a volunteer at a kindergarten, where amongst other things I learnt about teamwork.  I helped Lower Sixth pupils with science subjects, mainly Maths and Chemistry, and for two years was a “Study Buddy”, helping younger pupils with their studies.  I am a musician, and have been playing the piano for four years.

I am hard-working, precise and very patient, which is a great asset in the laboratory scientist who waits to find the solution to a chemical problem.  At the same time I have a creative approach to science and enjoy making leaps of thought to solve problems and find new patterns.  My commitment to my subject is total, and I believe I have the necessary qualities to be a very successful undergraduate.