Imperial College London – Zain (Mathematics)

My name is
Zain Kapadia and I’m a second year Maths
student at Imperial College, London. I’m the first generation
to go to University in my family. My parents
didn’t go to University which I think for them it
showed them how important it really is to go to University,
to get a degree and how much the
job market opens up to you after that. I’m from an area
called Wembley in London and it’s a somewhat
challenging background to come from because there’s this
kind of perception almost that students don’t really go to
Universities or these top Universities. I’d say the unique selling point of Imperial
is that whilst it is such an amazing University consistently top 5
across the board, it’s accessible it’s somewhere that even a
student like me could get in to. I was actually a student of the
Imperial outreach programme, “Stem Potential”. It meant that I was able to go into
Imperial College, London on a semi-regular basis every couple of months,
and to be able to look around as well as to study Mathematics
and other sciences for my A-Levels and so that gave me the
opportunity to see the University and to actually
have a feel for it and to be more comfortable
being able to say I want to go here. So one thing that has quite a
double benefit for me is that I am a mentor for Imperial’s outreach programme
so I’m feeding back into the system which helped to get
me here in terms of outreach but this is also part-time work.
I’m also getting paid to do this as well and so this is
something that I can put towards managing my
budget for the time as well. One of the great things about such a central
location is just around the corner is Hyde Park and not too far off is the
Royal Albert which is where I’ll be graduating from and that’s
pretty amazing I think. One thing I took away from my
whole experience so far is to never be afraid to even just send the application off,
because you might think it’s just an application it’s ok if I get rejected that’s fine,
then suddenly you get an offer and then suddenly
you’ve got the grades and then suddenly here you are sitting in a
lecture hall with 200 people from all over the world who you think are all
so much more clever than you but then you’re sitting
on level footing with them and so it’s quite amazing how,
even if you don’t think you’re so amazing you
really are.