03 February, 2021

February Supercurricular Bulletin

Welcome to your second edition of the Supercurricular Student Bulletin. We hope you have enjoyed the first edition and therefore have been eagerly anticipating the next one! As always, we do welcome any additional ideas for relevant sections and headings that you would like to see in your bulletin. If you would like to make any recommendations, or nominate yourself to produce an article, please contact the Supercurricular Department. Following last month’s article from Year 13 student, Ian Guan Jun Cheng, detailing his subject passion for Ancient History, this month we will be hearing from the other side of the spectrum – a GCSE student. Benedict Tan has kindly offered to write about his interests in Engineering and how he used virtual work experiences as a platform to learn more about his wider interests and possible career paths. Following last month’s ‘growth mindset and active recall’ session, it is great to see that Benedict was not deterred from the struggles in securing a placement – he persevered to continue to engage with industry until sourcing an opportunity with a firm in Malaysia.  


“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs (1955-2011)   Self-Development Book of the Month
The Four Disciplines of Execution by McChesney et al. (2015) We all, throughout the day, can be inspired and think of useful ideas – whether that be about subject revision, the start of a poem to write, or an idea about a new project. However, there are many obstacles in the way which stop us taking these ideas further. McChesney et al. (2015) attribute this to the “whirlwind of life”, as they asked over 200,000 business leaders about their personal experiences of failing to execute ideas. The authors established four disciplines to withstand this whirlwind. Click here for a video breakdown of the book. Is this useful? Are all ideas a welcomed distraction? Let us know!

“My subject passion and why”

  “The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented barriers to successfully applying for work experience opportunities, with employers unable to offer in person experiences because of additional health and safety measures such as social distancing. Nevertheless, I eagerly applied to a vast array of companies including British Airways, Rolls Royce, BMW, Airbus and Diamond Light. However, most of the companies did not reply and the few that responded either did not offer, cancelled or delayed their virtual work opportunities. Therefore, with all these limitations and challenges, I needed to be more persistent, and had to adopt a responsive mindset towards thinking of ways to gain some work experience. Despite the strain the pandemic has had on work experience opportunities on offer, I decided to think outside the box given that all my applications to the companies in the UK were unsuccessful. After some deliberation, I explored the virtual work experiences with companies in my home country instead: Malaysia. I was relieved to know that one company agreed to offer me a week-long session of work experiences where I could connect with their employees (many of whom are specialists in their fields) on their work in Engineering and also gain some invaluable knowledge about this field. The company specialises in the construction of water supply projects, many of the staff whom I met were quick to impart their knowledge of the various stages of water treatment to me – leaving me with a much clearer understanding of an otherwise unbeknownst field of engineering to me. Not only did I gain a clearer understanding of the various engineering fields, such as the water treatment industry and water treatment process (aeration, flocculation, clarification and filtration), I also had the opportunity to learn about the legal fundamentals in a construction contract and the financial management aspects of a construction company.   Benedict Tan, GCSE Student  

Update for Year 12 Enrichment Week

The next Enrichment Week will take place from Monday 15th – Friday 19th February. We are in the process of finalising the timetables with a range of universities, who are facilitating a week-long programme to support student learning and development. Your career group/university subject preference will determine which university programme you will be allocated. The Department will be in touch with you shortly!    

Academic competitions

Competitions can be offered by universities, other academic bodies and companies from industry. Not all academic competitions are essay-based and so there are a wide range to choose from. Building on what was outlined in last month’s bulletin, Jake Hogg will now be emailing students with a continuously updated list of opportunities. Please do consult Jake for additional support in relation to academic competitions. Moreover, Jake has also established new speaking and advanced essay-writing classes. Students have been emailed with instructions about how to sign up.  

Oxbridge updates

§  For a list of upcoming essay competitions at Newnham College, Cambridge, click here §  For updated prospectuses: click on Oxford or Cambridge §  For virtual departmental tours: click on Oxford or Cambridge §  For a video of undergraduate student life at the University of Oxford, click here Once using these links, please see new opportunities updated online, building on last month’s bulletin.

15% discount on all books from Trotman Publishing

Trotman produce a range of useful books relating to academic strategy, careers and university applications. Titles include “How to Write a Winning UCAS Personal Statement” (Stannard, 2016); “The University Choice Journal” (Bassot, 2018) and “Careers 2021” (Trotman Education, 2020). Whilst these books can be found from a range of suppliers and sometimes already have a discount sale, we have also secured a unique code for all OIC students and staff. This will enable a 15 per cent discount on all books purchased. (Dominic Fuge will be distributing this code via email). If you are reading this bulletin as an alumnus or friend of OIC, please contact Dominic, who will be able to establish whether we can also provide you with a unique code.

News and recommendations by career group

  Healthcare & Biological Science Physical Science & Mathematics Social Science, Commerce & Humanities
Recent articles and publications §  Non-antibiotic therapies to combat antibiotic resistance   §  Doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic   §  Reading list from the Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick   §  Architectural Design Studio   §  Modern monetary theory   §  Classical social psychology
YouTube recommendations §  Documentary on medical progress over the last 200 years   §  Day in the life of a veterinarian   §  Brian Cox Particle Physics Lecture at CERN   §  Documentary by cosmologist Professor Sir Roger Penrose, on MC Escher §  What makes a good economist?   §  Lost treasures of ancient Egypt’ documentary
Upcoming webinars §  Pharmacology and toxicology webinars   §  The Royal Society of Medicine     §  Royal Academy of Engineering   §  Illustrating the Impact of the Mathematical Sciences     §  Webinars with Oxford Economics   §  Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford
NB. This list is by no means exhaustive and is intended to be a springboard for inspiring you to research interesting opportunities in your subject and career areas. Webinars cannot replace timetabled lessons or scheduled activities.
Other opportunities
§  Resources with the Institute of Biomedical Science   §  Student content from the Royal Society of Biology   § §  What’s on with the RIBA   §  Natural Sciences (Physical) at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge §  Learning resources from the Courtauld Institute of Art   §  FCDO Next Generation Economics competition  


Upcoming events, deadlines and other information

  • All students (Monday 1st February 10.00): “Biology, Medicine and Health Masterclass”, with the University of Manchester (Jason Brooks)
  • Year 12 & GCSE students (Monday 1st February 15.40): the start of the first subject-specific Career Meetings (Dominic Fuge & Dan Casey)
  • All students (week commencing Monday 1st February): Philosophy evening classes with Richard Graham (contact Jason Brooks to register) – click here to watch the introductory session from Monday 18th January
  • All students (Wednesday 10th February from 12pm to 7pm): ‘Meet the Russell Group - A new virtual experience in association with UK University Search’ – click here to register
  • All students (applications close on Friday 12th February): Diamond work experience for July – click here for more information
  • Year 12 students (Monday 15th – Friday 19th February): Enrichment Week (Supercurricular Team)
  • Students TBC (Monday 22nd February): Talk from InvestIN (Dan Casey)
  • All students (registration closes on Friday 26th February): Virtual Particle Physics Masterclass, in March – click here to register interest
  • All students (this term): 1:1 Academic Strategy Consultations begin (Jonathan Beckett, Dominic Fuge & Dan Casey)

Thank you for reading this month’s Supercurricular Student Bulletin. Please contact the Supercurricular Team for more information.