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

Monday, 1 February 2016

An insight into Engineering at Sheffield - High School Visit by Abhinav Paul Kongari

This winter vacation I had the opportunity to go back to my high school in India, St. Xavier’s Bokaro, and share my experiences about studying at The University of Sheffield among students aged 15-18. I also shared with them the hectic life of an engineering student, responsibilities one has to face after coming to the University, different branches of engineering, wide range of possibilities and huge scope in future, specifically in fields of interdisciplinary engineering. My main aim was to provide them with the information of applying in UK for higher studies and remove their misconception and confusion regarding engineering as a future choice.

I started my talk by giving them a bit of information about me. I told them why I had decided to study in Sheffield, the answer to which is mainly due to pioneering lecturers, cutting edge technologies and it being a research-oriented institute. I informed them how Sheffield is one of the top 100 universities in the world, one of the Russell group of institutions and also one of the original redbrick institutions. Next, I shared my involvement with the IEA and various other co-curricular activities such as Engineers Without Borders and much more. Moreover, I told the students how one of my design lecturers designed the first F3 race car in the world out of potatoes, carrots and chocolates. Still can’t forget their expression after hearing that. They were absolutely awestruck!

I further informed the students about engineering as a subject. Most of the students nowadays, have no idea about what they want to pursue in engineering. They just know about engineering being a subject, not realising how broad the categories in it are. I informed them about subjects such as management engineering for those who are more into corporate part of industries and also informed them about bioengineering for those who are particularly into Biology but do not want to pursue Medicine. I told them about interdisciplinary branches such as Building Services Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Mechatronics Engineering which are gaining prominence in the market. Being a mechanical engineer, I gave them a brief idea of what my course is like, what kinds of projects and assignments am I involved in and how rigorous a university course is.

After hearing so much, the students were burning with the desire to ask questions about how to avail such amazing opportunities. So, I informed them about how to apply to universities in the UK. I informed them about the entire process of application, the process of breaking your head over personal statements and also the need for references and such.

Lastly, I informed the students about the responsibilities one has to face after coming to the University. Miles away from the comfort of your parents, you have to cater for your yourselves, go grocery shopping, do your own laundry and so much more. Although these are the most menial things, they do seem daunting when you first think of them. Thus, I brought such things into their view.

At the end of the talk, loads of students were excited and it felt really good to have shared some knowledge about my field with them. Remembering how clueless I was when I was in their shoes about a year ago, I was really happy to have been able to provide them with some insight into the world of engineering. Even the principal found the presentation really profound and has invited me to come back again next year!

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