Ambassador roles boosted my confidence and developed my skills
At school, I did not have much exposure to, and had a negative perception of science subjects. I thought they were boring and too difficult. However, when I got to university, my whole perception changed. Even though my course can be very intense and challenging, it is incredibly enjoyable, and I have never regretted choosing chemistry. I find it exciting and it offers me real career prospects on completion.
I realise that secondary-school students also have a wrong perception of science subjects, particularly physics and chemistry. It is for this reason that I chose to become an ambassador, as it allowed me to give a voice to STEM subjects, particularly chemistry.
My aim was to show that chemistry is both fun and important. After all, virtually everything that we use on a daily basis is as a result of some chemistry.
I have been involved in outreach programs ranging from making bath bombs with primary school students to paracetamol synthesis and analysis with A-level students. I have also participated in science festivals, STEM for girls, and university open days, chatting to visiting students about the prospect of studying chemistry.
One of the most memorable highlights as an ambassador was when I assisted Dr Tom Anderson, a teacher of organic and inorganic chemistry at Sheffield, in his presentation to a group of young students on ‘The Journey to the Centre of the Atom’, during the Sheffield Science and Engineering Festival in March 2017. My duty was to run experiments as Dr Anderson talked through them. It was so fulfilling to see the students’ happy faces.
I also work part time as a Global Campus Ambassador. Both of these roles have boosted my confidence at individual and group presentations. I have developed excellent problem-solving and communication skills, and have been able to use the technical skills I have acquired as a chemistry student at outreach demonstration sessions.
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