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

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Meet Our International Engineering Ambassador - Odulaja Oluwatobi

Course: Civil Engineering with a Year in Industry
Nationality: Nigerian
Hi guys. My name is Oluwatobi Odulaja but I’m called Tobi for short, Tobi with an i, not a y. I’m a semi-tall black boy, coming from a west African country known as Nigeria - where I was born and raised all my life. I represent the Yoruba tribe, famous for our beautiful women, exotic cuisine’s and extravagant dressing.
About a year ago, the University of Sheffield seemed like a myth to me, as I was still writing my personal statement and anticipating predicted grades at that time. Still looking for schools in the UK, I came across the University of Sheffield and all it entailed for a young enthusiastic learner as myself. The university caught my interest after researching and it became my first choice almost immediately.
I am currently a first year undergraduate student studying Civil Engineering in this fancy University. Civil Engineering was almost well oriented in me because my father was one himself and as my eldest brother is an architect. I grew up visiting sites and witnessing building constructions. From this, the passion and the drive grew in me to pursue this line of study. Some few movies I watched made me want to consider other courses, like how Iron Man is said to be a mechanical engineer and other famous comic characters. Despite all the distractions, my goals remained clear to me.
So far, studying this course has been nothing short of exciting and challenging, from the first confusion that you get in Labs to the euphoria felt when the understanding arrives. Many fun things have been done in my course this year, but my personal best was designing a bridge made from foam, thin sheets of ply wood, dowel and strings. This gave the typical dilemma that engineers  feel when compromises must occur. What is required is critical thinking for design sessions and initiatives to cut costs whilst still carrying out the task at hand.
I would urge anyone who considering a university to study Civil engineering, to choose the University of Sheffield. Coming here, I did not know what to expect or the kind of people I would meet, but on arrival the atmosphere was rather blissful. The people here are so friendly that at first it felt like an illusion to me. My advice to someone coming her from any country outside the UK, who may be worried about feeling homesick or anything, don’t worry - Sheffield has people from everywhere. Extra-curricular activities, sports and societies are also wonderful ways of meeting new people and having fun.
My advice for anyone would include the following: stay focused, remember why you came here; try your best to communicate with people, you will always need help in some way; never ever be shy to ask questions, most importantly, try to enjoy it, it’s not forever, make lots of memories.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Good luck if you’re applying to university and if you pick the University of Sheffield, shout out to you! You will not regret it!    

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