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

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Chemical Engineering: 3 Students: 0

The biggest defeat in life is when you’re defeated by your own expectations...

After having an amazing first year studying Chemical Engineering, I was super excited to come back to university after my summer break only to find that it wasn’t even remotely close to what I had expected. All of last year I kept hearing seniors say that second year was the toughest year on the degree and slowly by slowly I too began to believe that. From the first day itself, 2nd year made me live through things I had never imagined.
Now, I know you’re all expecting a tale of misery and torture that students often love to empathize with but my story is way different. My expectation of the course being tormenting was blown right out of the window when the course gave me 3 of the best experiences an engineering student could experience.

    1. Guest Lecturers from the industry.
We have all imagined ourselves having intelligent conversations with experts at some point in our future. However, for a 2nd year Chemical Engineering Student at the University of Sheffield this is a dream that comes true so quickly. As part of some modules such as particle science, we had the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from industrial experts like the lead researcher from Nestle and Astra-Zeneca. As an added incentive, we got insight into some of the projects and research that they and their representative companies were working on. Be it zero-water consuming process plants in Mexico or innovation and design into producing machines that provide the correct consistency and temperature of baby food. The guest lecturers introduce a new style of teaching and relieve us from the monotony of having the same lecturer week-in-week-out.

    2. Joining the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy.
SELA is a prestigious extra-curricular program that runs for two years alongside your course. This program is focused on bridging the gap in the engineering industry by equipping the future engineers with skills and resources. Entry to this program is highly competitive and thanks to the various team work challenges and soft skills that I acquired in year 1 of my course, I was able to get into the program alongside 19 other individuals from various engineering disciplines.

    3. Extensive career planning sessions.
An ancient saying says, ‘The early bird catches the worm.’ Here, at TUoS, not only do they wake you up early (all pun intended) but also they ensure to instill in you all the skills you need to sore high up in the skies of your success. As a second year student, I am constantly engaged in one-on-one sessions for careers development with my personal tutor. In addition, we had the opportunity to get advice from individuals from the careers service department and have them review and assess our cv’s.
If that was not enough, we have a dedicated careers advisor who sends in emails for intership and placement opportunities. Also, we get to attend several networking events with industrial experts and alumni that are able to then give us more insights into our choosen fields. Basically, it is like a real life version of LinkedIn isn’t it?

It’s been 9 weeks into my 1st semester and even though I sometimes feel stressed about deadlines and my future as a whole. I know for a fact that my department has got my back and they are more than willing to go the extra mile in the name of my future.

The biggest defeat in life is when you’re defeated by your own expectations... So, in as much as I had expected to be defeated by the intensity of 2nd year, all I failed at was my expectation; which in my view is one of the best defeats ever. 

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