Interviewed in her fourth year, studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering
I went to a comprehensive school, and did Maths, Physics and Chemistry A Levels. I enjoyed Maths at school, and liked the idea of applying it for engineering. My school did not have a history of sending people to Cambridge, and I was delighted to get a place.
I took a gap year, during which I worked with an electrical engineer for National Power at the Drax power station - that convinced me that I wanted to study Electrical Engineering. It was really good getting a flavour of all the different types of engineering in the first two years at Cambridge - I particularly enjoyed mechanics and structures. I did find the Maths quite difficult but I got a lot of support during my supervision periods.
I spent my third year at MIT as part of the undergraduate exchange programme. I wanted to try something different and it was a good chance to live in another country. About 25 of us went, and we all had a great time. It has not been at all difficult to slot back in to the Cambridge course for my fourth year. I am now quite keen to go to the USA again.
Although the work I did in my gap year was sufficient to cover my industrial experience, I have also worked with engineering-related companies in the summer vacations. At the end of my second year, I worked for Corus in Scunthorpe and then at the end of my third year, for a small research-based company in the Cambridge Science Park.
My fourth year project is making micro-motors - these are extremely small machines that fit on to a silicon chip. Although such things have been made before, there are a number of operational problems to sort out - such as making them last longer by improving the bearings. I am now quite attracted to the idea of a research-based or academic job once I graduate.
I did a lot of ballet before coming to Cambridge, and now do contemporary dance - there is even a 'dancer in residence' at my College who runs weekly classes. I have taken part in a couple of shows, and I help to organize the dancing classes. I also learn Japanese, as it is offered by the Department of Engineering's Language Unit. That appealed to me as I thought it was a really bizarre thing to learn! Anyhow, I'm now hooked and would very much like to go to Japan to try it out.