Hiya! I’m Ali (right)(he/they), I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Bristol, currently studying cellular and molecular medicine. I’m only a second year, so I haven’t much to say about work in the science field, but my interests lies in genetics and cytogenetics.
I’m from the seaside town of Weymouth, on the Jurassic Coast. I grew up around hospitals a lot, as my mother worked in one, and I would often visit her during her shifts. I became fond of the sterile environments hospitals and labs afforded, and began to dream of working in one myself. My interests were further deepened by easy access to scientific resources online, such as YouTube videos or Wikipedia. I studied chemistry, biology and psychology for my A-Levels, which took place during the height of the covid pandemic, severely disrupting my studies. I then moved to Bristol to begin my undergraduate degree.
Favourite colour: Green, of course
Favourite food: Any type of pasta
Favourite number: i, it’s far more interesting that normal numbers.
Favourite car: Classic Mini Cooper, but I’m also fond of my little Suzuki Ignis
What inspires me: Many people in my life have inspired me, family and friends alike, but one that sticks out for me is my A-Level psychology teacher, Jamie. I always struggled with believing I never deserved the grades I got, or I would fail if I tried to aim higher. She always managed to convince me otherwise, and that I really could do it if I tried.
YouTube has also been a huge source of inspiration for me. Kurzgesagt, my favourite channel, made science easily accessible and understandable to me as a child. The colourful animations and diagrams fascinated me, and I fell in love with biology.
Three words that describe me: excitable, nerdy, a bit neurotic.
If you weren’t doing science, what would you be doing?: Probably linguistics, it’s a personal interest of mine. I guess it’s still technically a science though…
What do you like most about being a scientist?: I haven’t had much of a chance to experience what a lab is truly like, but from my teaching labs, I love being able to witness this whole other world in action, at my fingertips. It’s fascinating to watch the concepts we learn about on paper actually happen in real life.
Name three things you can’t live without/keep you motivated: I absolutely cannot function without music. A close second would be my friends, and then I would probably say Lego.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking about a scientific/STEM career?: You don’t have to make all the decisions right now. It’s ok not to know exactly what you want to do, or to have a solid future career plan before you even get to university. You never know what you’re going to discover about what you love as you move through your course, your ambitions can change as the wind does, so it’s totally fine for things to be a little unclear.