I arrived at Cambridge to study at St Edmund’s College after completing a degree in physics in Spain. Out of all the available courses, I opted for an MPhil in Scientific Computing, a programme which focuses on using computer algorithms to solve physics problems. I arrived at Cambridge with a – perhaps immature – set of skills, world views, and habits. These were all soon to be challenged and developed far beyond my expectations. This is the story of how Cambridge changed my life.
Cambridge is an institution that can somehow endow ordinary humans with skills nearing superpowers – at least, I certainly felt this way during my year there. Once I started my course, I felt extremely fortunate: I was suddenly surrounded by some of the most talented and kind people I have ever met. The fertile environment of the Cavendish Laboratory led me to learn about the technical areas I was interested in (maths, physics and computing) at an accelerated pace. In fact, I was learning more and faster than ever before. Teachers were passionate experts on their subject and my colleagues were as eager to learn as me. It was education heaven. The technical skills I developed at Cambridge have proved to be invaluable in my career and I am grateful for the pool of opportunities which this education opened up for me.
Before joining Cambridge, my views on the world were somewhat simplistic and limited in some regards. For instance, I used to believe only a born genius with extreme, innate talent could ever hope to be admitted to such a prestigious university and go on to do great things in life. The above in mind, I was hesitant at first to even send my application to the University – after all, I was no Isaac Newton or James C Maxwell. Despite my doubts, I gave it a shot and was eventually admitted to Cambridge. I am glad I mustered the guts to do it.