Tamirlan Seidakhmetov

22, from Taraz, student of Nazarbayev University. Hid did his research in California Institute of Technology, Materials Science & Engineering in the summer of 2014.

1. Why did you choose this specialization at the University?

Back in high school I was very interested in physics, but when I grew up, I understood that the applied science, where theoretical knowledge can be used to solve pressing problems, is something I wanted to do. Everyone knows that Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources, but in the country, there is a certain shortage of staff to process these resources. And I would like to help to fill this gap and therefore chose chemical engineering.

2. How did the competition go?

I learnt about the competition in the Career Development Centre at Nazarbayev University. The applicants should have collected documents, written essays, submitted the application. The second phase was in an interactive form: we solved different tasks in groups, presented and each defended his or her own point of view. All tasks were very intriguing and unusual, sometimes even difficult, because one had to work with completely unfamiliar people in one team.

3. Any interesting and memorable experience from the internship?

During the 3-month internship I learnt a lot about nanotechnology. I also learnt to work with high-tech equipment. But most importantly, I proved to myself that I am ready to compete with the best students in the world. I lived with the family of a local schoolteacher; we would often chat on various topics: education, life abroad, sports and politics. I learnt to play softball; visited San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, D.C., have been to New York City. The image of that grand firework on Independence Day is still in my mind; I watched the game of my favourite team – FC Milan (vs Liverpool) – for the first time also during my internship. Unforgettable memories, I should say!

4. What would you say about the results of the internship?

For a future practical scientist like me it is much easier if I list what I have learnt from participating in the program:

• experience of working in a lab,

• knowledge in the field of nanotechnology,

• useful contacts (both in Kazakhstan and in the US),

• confidence, great many pieces of knowledge,

• a better understanding of American culture.

13.10.17, Stories

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