Alex Jantzen joined the sixth form at City College Norwich in 2009 to undertake his A Levels. In his own words
“Life can be really strange at times. It was never my intention to study in England when I was a kid living in Denmark. Yet somehow, I have managed to spend my entire adult life here with two wonderful years in Norwich and five incredible ones, so far, in Southampton. How that came to be is even stranger and it involved a lot of World of Warcraft, travelling and making unexpected friends. That is a story for another time, but the point is; if you open yourself up to new opportunities and experiences, only good things can come of it.”
An interest in science with no long term plan!
Alex had always had a keen interest in science, but, like most teenagers, he didn’t really know what his long term plan was. Due to this interest, he picked Maths, Physics, Chemistry and with a bit of influence from the college tutors he also chose to study History for his A Levels.
Coming from a different country put Alex at quite a disadvantage as the education systems were very different meaning he was going to have to work really hard to achieve his grades.
“Having been top of my class back in Denmark, the first set of exam results that I got were quite a bit of a shock to me.”
Rather than being discouraged, Alex put his head down and, with the help of friends he had made, and with support from his tutors he kept working away to fill in the knowledge gaps.
Cards in the library and awards for Outstanding Achievement!
Plenty of hours were spent in the library with friends studying, although it did occasionally devolve into simply playing cards to the displeasure of the librarians!
Alex looks back fondly on his time at City College Norwich and believes that his decision to study there was one of the best choices he could have made.
We agree, it was the best choice he could have made, and his A Level results pay tribute to that, with two A* and an A.
Not only that, but Alex was also recognised in the college Further Education Awards, with the ‘Mills and Reeve’s award for outstanding achievement’ plus the ‘Norfolk Scholar Certificate for exceptional performance at A-levels’
First Class Honours with a Masters of Physics
Having got to grips with education in the UK, after finishing his A Levels, Alex proceeded to study at the University of Southampton, taking a Masters of Physics, true to style he passed with flying colours achieving a First Class Honours!
Quantum Technology and Optical Sensors
Today, Alex researches Quantum Technology and Optical Sensors for his PhD at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton. His work is undertaken in a £100m Cleanroom facilitity where he fabricates Photonic Lightwave Circuits and next generation Optically Based Sensors.
Alex also travels the country occasionally giving talks about Physics and recently was at Salisbury Cathedral as part of their science week. He does this in the hope of encouraging more people, to follow the route of the sciences and to show that science can be astonishing, beautiful and incredible.
He has additionally presented my research findings from an internship at the Royal Institute of Science in London.
Still has a love of World of Warcraft
In 2014, Alex founded the University of Southampton eSports Society that has now established university teams competing in national tournaments in multiple genres.
“All of these achievements to some greater or lesser extend can be drawn back to my time in Norwich and the skills I acquired there.”
We think Alex has a very bright future ahead of him and look forward to seeing him emerge as a shining light in the world of science!