Getting the news of going to Oxford for my ITP seemed nothing short of a dream and actually reaching the quaint little town, even more so. From my arrival to the very last day, those old and glorious buildings were just beautiful and walking through historical sites and places everyday was lovely. It was not just the colleges that were full of history and stories, the walkways and various lanes were as rich in charming character emanating from this place.
The professor in charge, Professor Mark G. Moloney, is one of the most intelligent and patient men that I’ve known. He assigned me to various projects – all of which revolved around the organic synthesis for a fragment of oxazolomycin, a compound with potential antibacterial properties.
My supervisor, Beth helped me immensely during the six weeks - reading my NMRs, interpreting the data of my various spectra, giving me useful advice, especially when Professor Moloney was not around to answer my endless string of questions. Emily, my perpetually cheerful mentor was forever lending me various apparatus that my fume hood and cupboards lacked.
Things became more fun when the Part IIs (Year 4s) joined me at the research lab for their final year of study. Besides being an awesome source of entertainment in the labs, Bonnie, Sylvia and Mike were also lovely people to be with.
During the weekends, I either went to London or explored Oxford, especially the beautiful forests and the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens was a beautiful sight and an extremely lovely place to spend the morning and the early afternoon; amongst roses and various different coloured flowers and plants. I could smell everything there (one thing I was strictly told not to do in the lab) and the weather was lovely for pictures and exploration.
These six weeks in the lab have taught me new practical techniques and have exposed another side of working in labs, the research facet, where most experiments are groundbreaking and the possibility of discovering new things is excitingly present.
My attachment at Oxford was a truly an amazing experience - one that I would be more than willing to repeat any time.
By Alethea Joy Han Hui En
Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetic Science Year 2 Student
Alethea Joy Han Hui En and Eileen Chew Yu Min were attached to Oxford University for their six-week internship.