A MSc student in the midst of a pandemic

A MSc student in the midst of a pandemic

  • Emre Yavuz

“Working with my peers to overcome the inevitable challenges we have faced during the Pandemic whilst exploring fascinating areas of Neuroscience has made my student experience the best it could be"

I recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc in Neuroscience. I am fascinated by several areas of Neuroscience, including Psychedelics and Dementia Care and Technology. I hope to carry out my Master’s Thesis in Psychedelic research, and I aspire to continue my studies with a PhD in this field. One of my life goals is to combine Science and Technology to massively improve the quality of life of those suffering from debilitating Neurological Diseases.

Completing my MSc remotely during the pandemic hasn’t been without difficulties. However, there were many opportunities for me to make the most of the situation. One of these was being elected as Class Representative. This role involves working together with my peers to overcome our challenges (including internet connectivity issues, timetabling issues and other course-related issues) and achieve our goals, which has brought me the greatest joy. Not only does being a class representative give me a fantastic platform to get to know my peers, the rewarding feeling I get when I know that their issues have been resolved has had a massive positive impact on my wellbeing. When it has been all too easy to lose concentration, it has helped me keep my feet on the ground. It has allowed me to continue enjoying my studies despite this immensely challenging period in our lives. I would therefore highly recommend this to any students reading this article to get involved as a representative during your studies.

With everything currently being online, I seized every opportunity to develop my skills and take on new challenges using online platforms like LinkedIn. Most memorably, I participated in a Hackathon run by Imperial College Business School, where I helped develop an idea for an App using gait analysis to help tackle Dementia. I received outstanding coaching from Imperial Enterprise Lab and Business School and resultantly, I’ve joined the subcommittee of Imperial’s MedTech Society, where I organise talks by guest speakers on how Technology can massively aid Scientific Research and Clinical Practice. I also became a volunteer with ‘What the Tech?!’, an Imperial student-run organisation aimed at local residents over 50, where I taught them how to use technology over zoom. Thus, being forced to seek out new experiences online allowed me to discover new areas of interest and explore new avenues for my future career. Never be afraid to sign up to new opportunities, as they may lead you in a direction you had never expected it to.

Although I have many hobbies including playing the cello, photography, jogging, visiting art galleries and cooking, the highlight of my MSc so far has been introducing the new friends-for-life I’ve made at Imperial (on socially distanced walks with takeaway Lattes) to London’s hidden charms including Coal Drop’s Yard and Holland Park’s Kyoto Gardens and I hope to continue doing so post-Lockdown. Avoiding public transport, London always has an infinite number of corners to explore on foot with friends, which will undoubtedly bring great benefits to your physical health!

All in all, I have immensely enjoyed the student experience at Imperial regardless of the numerous obstacles that COVID-19 has created. Seize every opportunity you can using the online platforms available to you. Reach out to as many others as possible. You never know which doors you will open and how they will shape your career trajectory...

To anyone reading this article, I would be delighted to connect with you on social media (LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook):

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emre-yavuz-449216187

Instagram: emre_yavuz_21

Twitter: Emre_Yavuz_21