UCL News


Seven Questions with... Sylvia Manimaran

10 December 2021

This week we meet fifth-year medical student Sylvia Manimaran, who volunteered on ICU and at her local GP surgery during the second lockdown. Here, Sylvia chats to us about her love of dancing, favorite spot for pizza in London and guilty pleasure TV thrillers...

Sylvia Manimaran

What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?

I am a fifth-year medical student at UCL. I chose to pursue a career in medicine as I knew I wanted to work in a field that allowed me to make a real difference in improving the lives of those around me. The privilege of caring for others, often at their most vulnerable, is a truly rewarding element of being a doctor and I cannot wait to have a lifelong commitment to doing just that!

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?

As an avid dancer since the age of three, dance has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. The opportunity to compete in Kings of Ghana at Troxy representing UCL in 2017 was a truly unique experience and required a whole new level of dedication, resilience and stamina.  

Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?

Perhaps not so hidden, but Franco Manca on Tottenham Court Road is definitely one of the biggest gems I frequently visit… normal pizza just doesn’t cut it anymore!

Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:

  1. If like me, you love shopping, Oxford Street is a must!
  2. A long walk (or run!) along the River Thames is definitely a cheap and cheerful way to enjoy London…and if you have some cash to spare then a cruise on the Thames is absolutely worth it.  
  3. I recently went to see Wicked in the West End and I have to say if you enjoy art, culture and pretty things (who doesn’t) then you have to see a West End musical – it is an incredible sight from start to finish.  

What’s one thing you’d like to see in a post-Covid world?

Less screen time and more being present with those around us… and perhaps also the continued commitment to good hand hygiene!

Who inspires you and why?

Phoebe from Friends – she doesn’t care what others make of her, she is 100% herself and lives her truth in the most raw way without hurting those around her. I think we should all strive to be ourselves unapologetically.  

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I enjoy watching TV but my guilty pleasure is the midday Channel 5 thrillers – cringe worthy, as my sister would say, but I love watching them – mediocre acting and all!