Samiha Ismail

Samiha studied the four-year MMath course in Mathematics and Statistics at Oxford from 2009--2013.


- What do you do now?

Currently I am on the 4-year undergrad medical course at King's College London.

- When you were a student, did you imagine you'd find yourself doing what you do now?

I was always considering doing medicine even before Oxford and actually planned to do it after Mathematics, though during my degree I wasn't always sure I would go through with medicine and considered many other options whilst at Oxford.  For example, during my time at Oxford I did internships at a defence company, investment bank and a consultancy firm.

- What success in your life are you most proud of?

Difficult question to answer, I guess it depends what aspect of life we are talking about.  In academic/work terms, I am most proud of the research I did on my masters dissertation as by the end of it I realised I had accomplished all the objectives I considered unachievable at the start.  Also it was a piece of work I could use my imagination on and take it as far as I wanted to go.

- What has been your biggest career challenge so far?

Giving up a well paid job in the city to pursue my medical dream.  I think in a decision like that you face so much uncertainty that you are never sure what is the right choice to make, you just have to jump and see what happens.  Looking back on it I think it was a good decision to make, as even if things do not work out, the amount of knowledge I have gained so far and the experiences and friends I have made have made it all worth it.

- What would you do differently if you were starting your career again?

Go down the medical/mathematical research route for internships as I may have found something I was more likely to enjoy there.

- What do you hope you'll be doing in ten years' time?

Training to be an anaesthetist whilst doing part-time research or doing a PhD at Oxford.  Fortunately I have recently got involved in an autism research project which means I will be spending 20% of my time next year on mathematical programming.

- What do you like/miss/remember most about Oxford Mathematics?

The challenge, randomly meeting tutors at Tesco, and the fact that the whole atmosphere makes you proud that you can call yourself 'An Oxford Mathematician'.