Choosing to study Engineering at university was an easy decision for me to make due to my strengths in Physics and Mathematics. I wanted the opportunity to explore as many disciplines as possible within engineering before specialising, and so the general course that Oxford offers was perfect for me.
I wanted to take a year off before university, to gain some industry experience, and so I joined Arup, the civil engineering consultants, for a 9-month placement in London. I spent these 9 months working on The Pinnacle, a large skyscraper currently under construction next to The Gherkin, right in the heart of the city. I worked solely within a civil group on this project, which definitely sparked my interest in civil and structural engineering. Nevertheless, I was still very glad to be starting a general course as working alongside engineers from all disciplines on The Pinnacle made me realise just how valuable a multidisciplinary degree would be.
I joined New College in 2009 and quickly fell into the routine of first year Engineering Science. I soon discovered that the engineers were an extremely sociable cohort, and the hours spent in lectures and labs definitely helped the students form strong friendships. Although initially daunted by the prospect of studying several disciplines simultaneously, I quickly found that by working hard I had plenty of time to play hard as well. I joined both the orchestra and netball team in college, which helped me make a wonderful group of college friends alongside the engineers who I saw in department every day.
During my time at Oxford I continued to return to Arup in my summers, where I worked on a huge variety of projects ranging from repairs at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital to the Sport City currently under construction in Saudi Arabia. Although I had greatly enjoyed the breadth of the course for the first two years, I was excited to focus my last two years on civil engineering, where my strengths and interests lay.
I was lucky enough, during my four years of Engineering Science, to be awarded an academic scholarship by New College and an Engineering Leadership Advanced Award (ELAA) by the Royal Academy of Engineering. These awards helped me complete all of my summer placements, and the ELAA award allowed me to pursue a language course in France and a volunteering project that will be completed upon graduation.
I am hoping to stay within consultancy after leaving Oxford, as I greatly enjoy the interaction with colleagues and clients. My aim is to move onto the business side of engineering projects in the role of Project Manager and I know that the foundations I have built at Oxford, and through my work experience, will stand me in good stead for the future.