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School: Podar International School, Mumbai, India
Studied: Cambridge International A Levels in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Maths; Cambridge International AS Level in English Language
Went on to: Degree in Pharmacy, University of Mumbai, followed by a Master of Research (MRes) degree in Drug Discovery and Development, Imperial College London
Even at school, it was clear that Amrita Date was heading for a career in science, opting to study Cambridge International A Levels in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Maths together with a Cambridge International AS Level in English Language.
‘I enjoyed studying science at Cambridge IGCSE, and wanted to explore the subject in more depth before deciding on my university course,’ she said. ‘I also chose maths because it is important for any future career. Cambridge International AS Level English Language was a requirement set by my school - I really enjoyed this subject, and the skills I developed helped me feel much more comfortable when writing assignments at university.’
Amrita’s Cambridge International A Level subjects helped guide her choice of degree. She said: ‘The Cambridge emphasis on ‘real world’ science was particularly important. We learnt essential knowledge and concepts but also talked about the equipment and processes used in laboratories and industry. This sparked my interest in scientific research and gave me an insight into the techniques I would be using if I decided to study science at university. The broad subject curricula also allowed me to make an educated decision about my ideal degree. In chemistry, for example, we learnt about drug design and novel drug delivery, and in biology we discovered more about the action of penicillin. As a result of my fascination in topics such as these, I decided to study pharmacy at the University of Mumbai.’
I was well prepared for the academic challenge of university, and the Cambridge programme also allowed me to discover my interests and assess my strengths, so I could make a well informed decision about my future career path.
At university, Amrita continued to benefit from the skills and knowledge gained during her Cambridge International A Level studies. ‘Several A Level topics were discussed in depth during my degree, so it was useful to start these discussions with some background knowledge,’ she said. ‘The practical science skills I learnt at A Level have also been of great benefit. Cambridge qualifications emphasise the importance of precision and repetition in order to ensure reliable results, and also planning, evaluation and analysis – all essential for a science career. My work ethic, time management and study techniques, which I gained through the course of my A Levels, have also allowed me to succeed.
Now studying for a Master of Research degree at Imperial College London, Amrita credits Cambridge International for helping her start her career journey.
‘I was a Cambridge student from Cambridge Checkpoint through to Cambridge International A Levels and I would definitely recommend this route,’ said Amrita, who hopes to eventually build a career in research, ideally in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.
‘I was well prepared for the academic challenge of university, and the Cambridge programme also allowed me to discover my interests and assess my strengths, so I could make a well-informed decision about my future career path.’
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