Sandra Rachel is a promising 19-year-old Seychelloise with big aspirations to go into Medicine and sets an outstanding example to all young seychelloise students aspiring to work in STEM fields. Cosmocreole had a chat with Sandra to find out a little bit more about her.
By Jade Gilbert-Finnigan
An academically-minded student and has been itching for a new challenge after excelling in her A Levels exams and receiving exceptional results this January. She’s earnt a place at university to go fulfil her childhood dreams next year.
Sandra attended primary school at La Retraite and after went to English River secondary school where she studied English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, ICT and History at IGCSE level. She went on to pursue her interest in the sciences by studying Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science for A’Level at the School of Advanced Level Studies. (SALS)
It wasn’t the easiest road to success, as she found her first year at SALS challenging because of the ‘giant leap’ from IGCSE to A’Level. However, she never felt majorly set back in any way though, because of the support system around her- namely her parents. “They guided me and helped me remain focused on my goal. I am also grateful to my friends for making me take a break from time to time.”
Upon graduation, Sandra received multiple awards for her academic achievements – an award for best performer in Computer Science; one for best performer in chemistry (along with another student); a high achiever award for obtaining 40 points in her A level results and finally, an award for 2nd best performer at SALS.
She’s equally as proud of all of her achievements because she devoted an equal amount of hard work for each one of them. She told us that “each of my achievements remind me of a particular phase in my life.”
Sandra is an avid reader who enjoys both fiction and non-fiction, as well as an advocate for the benefits of yoga, which helps her to live in the moment, despite her nature of constantly planning ahead and looking for what’s next. She also spends her free time watching movies and series. In another life, Sandra sees herself directing films because of how much she loves movies. However, in this one, she couldn’t be more certain that working in the medical field is what she sees herself doing.
She was inspired to take up this career path because of her mother who works as a nurse. Throughout her childhood she saw how rewarding her mother’s job is and how grateful her patients were to her, which shaped the path that Sandra’s decided to take. Before attending SALS, she worked for a few weeks at a private clinic. This experience only reinforced her passion for helping patients using her natural scientific ability.
After speaking to Sandra about herself, it was clear that practicing medicine is something that suits her personality – it is incredibly intellectually stimulating; involves science in both a theoretical and practical way; and requires both a pragmatic and sympathetic response. All of which she is fully capable of.
Sandra was hoping to get some work experience at the Seychelles hospital but like most of us, her imminent plans were stopped in their tracks by the global COVID-19 crisis. At the moment though, she is putting her time to good use by teaching ICT at English River Secondary School and getting a head start by reading some medical books.
She hopes to begin her degree in General medicine in September 2021 at the University of Szeged in Hungary and she is ready for the challenge.
Sandra’s final message to fellow aspiring medics is: ‘Stay focused, even if things get challenging, because nothing comes easy’ and ‘remember that medicine is a lifelong commitment.’