International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Meet Our IEA Alumni: Jordan D'Costa

Department: Aerospace

Course: BEng Aerospace Engineering

Nationality: Australian

What was your favourite subject at school?
Physics and Physical Education

How did you decide which degree course to take? 
Long before finishing school I wanted to be a pilot but later into my school career I realised I had the ability and interest to go beyond knowing just how to fly a plane. When browsing courses I came across aerospace engineering and there was no looking back. It allows me to satisfy both my abilities and interests at the same time.

What advice would you give to people about to choose a university course?

Be sure to choose a subject you are passionate about. Remember you will be hearing about it five days a week for the next 3-4 years, so make sure it is something you really enjoy. If you can’t come to England to see the university for yourself, do as much research on the city in which the university is located and decide whether you like it. League tables do not say whether a university is good for YOU, so make don’t let them be the only information source to guide your choice of university and course.

What inspired you/Who inspired you to follow this route?
My fascination with flight and love of exploring the world.

What do you particularly enjoy and why?
  • I particularly enjoy case studies in most modules. They present students with situations they may come across in industry and allow us to apply our knowledge to solve these problems. They also allow you to appreciate the material you learn in class that may initially seem to serve no purpose.
  • Our lecturers are involved with current industry research and are highly regarded in their respective industries. Each has his or her own teaching technique and everyone has a favourite lecturer for one reason or another.
  • The International Engineering Ambassadors scheme is a great employment opportunity offered by the university. It gives international students the chance to work and also feel secure in the university environment and reach out from there.
  • I only joined a society in my second year of study. I joined the Skate Society since I used to go skateboarding quite a lot when I was at school. It has been a great experience because I’ve met even more people I can share an interest with, learn new things from and keep fit with too.

Best job/most fun/most fulfilling/challenges.
During summer 2011, I was involved in the Union fundraising event Treasure Hunt Europe. This involved raising £300 for local charities and travelling around Europe by train for 5 days given only clues to cities where new clues were waiting to be found. It ended with a big party in Munich with all the treasure hunters. My team stayed a few days extra to explore some more of Europe. We visited Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands throughout the trip.

How is studying your subject or methods of learning different at university than at school?
       If you had a good studying method at school, try your best to keep it up when you come to university. You can sit in a lecture and it will make sense, but you won’t retain the knowledge unless you do your own work on the topic. Lectures can be spotted throughout a day with big gaps of free time in between unlike full school days. Don’t waste these precious free hours; use them to work, especially if you have plans that don’t involve studying that night.

What are your plans for the future/dreams/goals?
I would love any job in the aerospace industry. It would be fantastic to be part of a team that designs a brand new plane, helicopter, spacecraft or satellite. I hope that my job allows me to travel around the world too.

What do you like to do when you are not working on your degree?
I’m part of the Sheffield Australian Rules Football Club known as Sheffield Thunder. Our season runs from March to August, playing against other cities such as Birmingham and Manchester. It is a great way to keep fit, meet new people, hangout with people from your own country and have fun. It isn’t connected to the university in any way so it’s a good way to get out of the university bubble you find yourself in. I also enjoy going out with friends because Sheffield has such a great night life.

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