Graduate Profiles

Mohamed Mashaal
BP Drilling Engineer

Mohamed MashaalI attended an independent school in North London where I studied Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A Level and Biology and Further Maths at AS Level. I attended a College Open Day while in Year 12 (studying for AS Levels) and, at the time, was not studying Further Maths. After a brief chat with an Engineering professor, I realised how important it was to do more Pure Maths and Mechanics modules, so I went back to school and convinced my Head of Maths to put me in a fast-track class to bring me up to speed.

I was thrilled to get an offer from Cambridge, and chose it over my other offers because the first two 'general' engineering years of study would turn out to provide a great broad foundation that can lead to any further specialisation, while still stressing the importance of interdisciplinary knowledge.

I took a gap year, with the approval of my College's Admissions Tutor.

At Cambridge, I attended German classes alongside my Engineering classes. I was on the Department's Language Unit's week long trip to Paris in 2004, and in 2005 I was a member of the group from the Unit's German class that spent a week in Germany. My study of German that year counted as one of my second year electives. I was an active member of the CU Engineering Society Committee and organised a management course, with workshops run by Rolls-Royce, Balfour Beatty, Pilkington and Shell.

In my third year I specialised in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on Materials and Environmental Engineering. I followed the advice of the Department's Industrial Experience Co-ordinator, and applied for summer internships for the summer vacation before my final/4th year. I was lucky enough to spend 1 month with Schlumberger and 2 months with BP at their bases in Aberdeen. I managed to spend a week offshore on a semi-submersible drilling rig while I was working with BP. I was offered a full-time job with BP at the end of my placement.

I was heavily involved with Engineers Without Borders in my final year, attending most of their awareness courses on engineering for development and disaster relief. Through this, I applied for a place on the International Development and Design Summit, held for the first time this year at MIT in Boston, USA. I was one of around 40 participants from around the world who met to find appropriate technical solutions to some of the developing world's problems.

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