Outside the comfort zone

Outside the comfort zone

Asansol girl Bahnnisikha Misra who is in her second year of Masters in Engineering and Architecture at University of Sheffield dreams of making a big mark in the construction sector.

Although not much of a women’s world, the construction and property industry is suddenly witnessing a surprising turnaround. Indian women are moving out of their comfort zone to take the challenging world of architecture and engineering by storm. I also aspire to become one among them. I believe that there isn't a worthwhile act in the world that a woman cannot perform, and in fact, being a woman makes me more confident and determined than perhaps being a man would have. Hailing from a small city in West Bengal, Asansol, I knew that for the sake of my dream I had to venture out of my city. Therefore, I went to Dehradun and attended Welham Girls Boarding School for five years.

I wanted to do a specialization in my preferred subject from the best university. Going abroad for the same was on my mind but choosing the right university was a tough grind. I visited numerous education fairs and came across several universities.
Gradually, the University of Sheffield in UK caught my attention owing to its good ranking in the league tables, high quality research and student friendly atmosphere. It is the only university that offers an integrated degree in Structural Engineering and Architecture. I had made up my mind. The University of Sheffield held the stairs to my career destination. With only a few seats available every year, I was the one among the seventeen to get an admission based on UCAS applications.

Dynamic atmosphere

After stepping inside the university, I was quite impressed by its exceptionally dynamic and diverse atmosphere with a lively and engaged student body. I could feel positivity all around me. Meanwhile, I was delighted to learn that my course is delivered jointly by the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering and the School of Architecture. Knowing both the Structural Engineering and Architecture aspects of the industry will not only help me solve disputes that commonly occur between Engineers and Architects but will also teach me how to deal with demands for built space in various parts of the world, and meet a vast range of client demands.
The course is helping me learn how to make a design appealing aesthetically, economically, and from other aspects as well.

During the last two years, we have worked on team projects wherein we were required to design and propose an economically, environmentally and socially viable engineering solution to a specific real problem.

Such projects have helped me develop team working, leadership, time management and project management skills, by giving us a taste of what it is like to be working as an engineer in the real world.

Life inside the university is really intriguing.  Besides academics, we get innumerable opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities, which are aimed at all skill levels - from an absolute beginner to an expert.

Here, there is something for everyone; from Performing Arts like different forms of dance, music and drama, to various games, sports and languages. We get opportunities to join various societies based on a student’s nationality, culture, interests or skills. And, if there isn't one for you, you are free to start one!
I am extremely impressed by the Students Union of our university.

It has been of great help in numerous ways, whether it is for finding an accommodation, dealing with physical, mental or emotional conditions or giving advice related to academics or immigration documents. We Indian students form a significant percentage of students here and the university leaves no stones unturned in welcoming and supporting us.

The city of Sheffield for me is like a home away from home even though I hadn't been to the UK before.

Studying at University of Sheffield so far has been very satisfying and rewarding owing to an incredible amount of practical applications of the academic knowledge and skills we develop. It is teaching me the skills that I need to have to establish myself as a good, professional engineer and architect. This in turn will help me succeed in the property business.   

The university has also instilled a sense of confidence in me that when I graduate, I will have a very exciting career ahead of me.

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