The Sceptical Chymist | Transatlantic Tales: Homeward bound

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Posted on behalf of Nessa


My hood is sparkling clean (nearly) and the tangle of chemical structures has been acetoned (of course that’s a real word to chemists) off the glass doors: this can only mean one thing…

I’m writing my final blog post under the headline ‘Transatlantic Tales’ on the plane back from Chicago to Manchester. You may be interested to know that my saga resulted in a whole pile of fantastic chemistry and my first publication to be submitted in the future… and I’m planning to apply for postgraduate study (‘graduate school’) in both the US and the UK.

Working in the organic chemistry department in Illinois gave me experience in reactions and methods that were new to me, many new contacts in the world of careers, and knowledge of how the systems work in both countries — useful for those postgrad applications. In a more real sense, it also happened to be full of incredible and epic chemistry, and great new friends. Working in a fast-paced research group is always going to be a rollercoaster ride, but in the end, being over there was a completely eye-opening and amazing experience, and I’m glad that the series of coincidences that led me to getting to work there all happened.

I’m now off to start my Masters year back in Oxford, where everything I’ve done this summer should put me in good stead! I’ll be honest, there are disadvantages to international study — financial ones being the main consideration in my case — but I’d at least like to think this summer has been well, well worth it.

And now for the next year of fantastic science. For all who read this, good luck with your work, and if your research is working towards a machine that can allow me to be in two places at once, I’m in full support.

Nessa (you can find me on G+ here)

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