I wanted to use my interest in the sciences in a practical way, so I thought Engineering would be the right course for me. I wasn't sure which type of engineering I wanted to do, so the Cambridge course seemed ideal.
My A Levels were in Double Maths, Physics and Chemistry. At Cambridge I enjoyed Electrical Engineering the most, so I chose the Electrical and Information Sciences option in the third year. I was more interested in the larger power devices side of engineering than in electronics.
My fourth year project involved building a control system for superconducting devices, and I became so engrossed in this work that I decided to stay at Cambridge to study for a PhD for a further three years; the topic for my research was superconducting motors and bearings.
In the summer of 1999 I joined 3com, a company specialising in developing networking equipment, where, although I was originally employed on the hardware side, I seem to have become a software engineer. My career in engineering has taken me from electrical to physics to electronics and now to software. That is the sort of versatility that the Cambridge degree course enables people to have.
Vacation work is one of the best things about doing an Engineering course - you can get jobs doing real work and earning much better money than you can in a pub or supermarket. My first summer industrial experience was with Midlands Electricity in Birmingham, and I learned a lot, whilst also having a great summer, with plenty of outdoor work, and was able to meet a lot of very different people. In the other summers I got programming jobs - this is how I originally got some software experience, hence my current role.
I learned to dance (ballroom etc.) in Cambridge and am still visiting Cambridge regularly to do this. I play guitar, bass and keyboards and am currently trying to re-arrange commitments so that I can join the band here at 3Com.