Interviewed in her third year, studying Mechanical Engineering
At school I enjoyed the science subjects and took the usual A Levels of Maths, Physics and Chemistry, together with Spanish, as I also enjoy languages. My teacher suggested that Engineering might be a good subject for me to study at university, as it covers many different aspects of science and technology. I do appreciate studying a subject with immediate relevance to the world around me and I have always been interested in how things work.
I didn't think I would get in to Cambridge, but my school encouraged me to apply, and here I am. The first year was better than I expected, although it was hard work, and much to my surprise I came out of it with a 2:1. My second year result was even better - I got a first!
By the time I got to the second year I had learned how to manage my work schedule a lot better. I spend some time rowing (a real Cambridge experience) and I play pool for my College. I am also learning French, as it is very easy to do that here where the lessons are all on site.
Even though I am now in my third year, I have still not decided which branch of Engineering appeals to me the most. I spent my first summer working for a large structural engineering company and went out on site as well as working in the office. One of the projects included rebuilding part of Wandsworth prison. The site work was a real eye opener for me to see how many different people come together on a project: manager, clients and many different sorts of engineers. I had little interest in either Civil or Structural Engineering before this work experience, but became much more interested when I saw what these jobs involved.
Now I am taking mostly options involving fluid mechanics and heat flow. These are the sort of subjects that are useful for studying how internal combustion engines work, and I am interested in the work that is going on to improve the design of engines and make them more environmentally friendly. I hope I will be able to get a work placement at somewhere like Ford to get more experience in this field.
I could never have made the decision as to what type of engineer I wanted to be at school. I'm glad to have this opportunity of finding the right direction for me.