Biomedical Engineering Personal Statement
Submitted by Leah
It began during my daily commute to school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Although it was incredibly common to see homeless people, including those with mental and physical disabilities, wandering the streets of Addis, I never got used to the sight. I grew up feeling a strong desire to help those in need, and I particularly became interested in learning how to improve the lives of amputees. I grew fascinated with the concepts of robotic arms and prosthetic limbs. Reading ‘The Touch’ by Randall Wallace, taught me about the characteristics of a biomedical engineer. Characteristics such as patience, collaboration, and creativeness, all of which I believe I possess and want to develop further through this course. I learned that biomedical engineering is for those who are passionate about working at the interface of innovation and medicine. Knowing this, made it clear that this field is the perfect place for me.
I attended Biomedical Engineering talks during open days at Queen Mary’s University, UCL and King’s College, where I got the chance to interact with numerous professors in the engineering sector. This exposure highlighted the immense impact that technology, even the smallest of devices, can have on saving lives. Advancements in science, medicine, and technology now allow us to design artificial body parts in such remarkable detail that they work perfectly with human bodies. I am fascinated by this work, and I enjoy staying updated on the latest medical technology developments. Recently, on Wired I read an interesting article about an innovative headset that gives verbal instructions about the surroundings to assist the visually impaired. Additionally, on Medical Futurist I read about the new device that monitors blood sugar and automatically supplies insulin to people with diabetes.
Studying A-levels has played a vital part in expanding my insight. Firstly, Biology taught me about the importance of intensive reading and identifying small details. This is particularly evident during the vast topic of the immune system. Chemistry has allowed me to gain analytical skills and has shown me how to interpret research from practicals, such as Titration. On the other hand, Maths has trained me to think logically and strategically especially when problem-solving. Outside of College, I have taken some online courses such as ‘The Basics of Biomedical Engineering’ on edX which is IEEE verified. Due to my interest in computing, I’ve also learned the basics of coding in HTML, CSS, and Python on Udemy.
I have acquired a great deal of theoretical knowledge throughout my educational career. However, I also wanted to develop my practical knowledge. To gain further experience, during the summer of 2017, I completed a voluntary placement in the genetics department of Northwick Park Hospital, where they mainly test for Cystic Fibrosis. My experience there showed me how the diagnosis for this condition takes place, for example through the new-born blood spot screening test. I had a chance to see the equipment used during these tests and was able to talk to the Doctors about what improvements they would like to see in this field. It showed me how this sector is still developing and how now is an ideal opportunity to study Biomedical Engineering. In addition to this, in February 2017, I gained work experience as a pharmacist’s assistant at Shaftesbury Pharmacy, where I aided in dispensing medicine and handing out prescriptions. The position required me to be highly attentive as I had to work with several customers simultaneously.
Biomedical engineering is a challenging and complex field, but I know that I like being challenged and believe that this would be an opportunity to expand my knowledge. Due to my open-minded, creative attitude, I’m eager to have a part and hopefully have an impact on humanity as a whole, and through this course, I believe I can do that.