I am a first-year BEng student of Electronics and Communications with a year in industry at the University of Sheffield, UK. I was born and brought up in New Delhi, in a family of professionals. I have realised the importance of the contribution of education to personal and professional growth by observing my family members who have pursued careers in diverse fields. I am motivated by the passion they show for their careers and wanted to choose my field of interest carefully and excel in it.
My family, friends and teachers had also helped me plan my career by suggesting various universities and subjects for higher education in India and abroad. However, I was also made aware of the fact that I must follow my heart and choose a university and an area of study that I would be happy with. Science and Math are my favourite subjects. It did not take great effort to realise that my interest lies in modern technology and gadgets, and I decided to study engineering in Electronics and Communication.
My passion for the UK triggered my interest in exploring the best universities in the country for my higher studies.
After good research, I made my choice. There could have been no better place for me to pursue my undergraduate studies than the University of Sheffield which has excellent research facilities in the field of technology. The university has a flourishing community of over 5000 international students and I was confident that I made a choice which would bring out my full potential and establish a foundation for my future career.
My experience at the university has been more than what I had expected. No wonder the student union of the university ranks the top in the UK for the past 10 years.
On the very first day, we received an overwhelming welcome and assistance in every step of joining formalities from the students union and volunteers. During the orientation and introduction weeks, we were briefed about every possible situation and activity related to our life as students in the university.
Once the course commenced, it was easy to settle down with the routine. Our weekly academic schedules are planned and circulated in advance. Each student can opt for a personal mentor who guides through the settlement phase and later through the academic year.
The university believes true learning means getting out of the classroom and engaging with business, industry, governments and communities. All the first-year students take part in the faculty’s Global Engineering Challenge, working with students from other engineering disciplines to solve a real-world problem. My BEng Electronics and Communications with a year in industry course allows me to spend a year working full-time for an engineering company, putting my academic study into context and enhancing my career prospects.
Apart from studies, I have been involved in various student welfare and extracurricular activities at the university. I am an academic representative of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) department. My role is to listen to the concerns of my year-group students about lectures and modules and talk to the faculty about those issues in student-staff committee meetings, which are held twice every semester. Through these meetings, we ensure that the students are comfortable with all aspects of the course.
The university has over 350 societies which are groups of students who enjoy common interests. I am the first-year representative of Women in Engineering and EEE societies, and I represent and communicate the interests and expectations of first-year students at the society meetings.
I am a volunteer for ‘Action tutoring’ and I will be teaching Math at one of the local schools every Wednesday. I recently got accepted into the International Engineering Ambassador (IEA) scheme of the university and as an IEA, I will be doing a wide range of jobs like working in open days, writing blogs about my experiences as an international student, giving campus tours, etc. I am sure I will be doing a lot more in the years to come.
(Aditi is studying BEng Electronics and Communications Engineering at the University of Sheffield, UK)