“Any time I am answering the question ‘What are you studying?’, my counterpart seems to be confused: ‘Chemistry??’ Then, I smilingly try to explain that studying Chemistry, and thereby researching the invisible and impalpable, can be indeed very interesting and exciting.
My name is Magdalena, and I am from Gevgelija, Macedonia. After I graduated from academic secondary school with the best national results, I moved to Vienna to study there. My story began with the university preparation programme of the Viennese Universities, where I got my certificate of German as a Foreign Language. With this certificate in my hands, I could start my bachelor’s studies at the University of Vienna. I quickly experienced that chemistry and working in the lab are sometimes very demanding, but they are also a lot of fun.
What is most fascinating about natural sciences for me? Everything that occurs in nature every single day: Why, how and under which conditions are natural processes happening? Only if we know the principles, we can predict the result of certain processes. The same holds true for a chemical reaction. If we know the chemical precursors, their behaviour and qualities under certain conditions very well, we can assess or – which is even better – control the reaction.
How does the everyday life of a Chemistry student look like? During studies, we very often face the challenge to synthesise a substance from already known compounds or to analyse unknown substances. These substances are very often very important, you may think of penicillin for example: The active agent is needed and produced in large quantities all over the world. This means that our work in the lab is essential.
Currently, I am enrolled on the master’s programme in Chemistry and study under the supervision of Nuno Maulide. The activities in the lab and the endless opportunities to ‘study’ not only nature but also yourself induced me to do so. Additionally, having had the chance to participate in the 21st European Symposium on Organic Chemistry (ESOC 2019), gave me an insight into research.
To all those who still look confused: To study Chemistry and to understand the world of molecules, you also sometimes need a small portion of fantasy, humour and creativity.” – Magdalena Mishevska
Magdalena is studying Chemistry at the University of Vienna.