Take advantage of everything the university and department have to offer!
Why did you choose your course at Sheffield?
Whilst applying to universities through UCAS, I needed a university to fill my fifth and final option - this ended up being Sheffield. I hadn't really considered attending Sheffield at all and it was the last one of my post-applicant open days I attended. As soon as I entered the department, that all changed! Not only did the Chemical Engineering department feel friendly and welcoming, but the facilities were amazing (The Diamond!!) and the staff made you feel like they genuinely wanted you to be part of their faculty. The breadth of modules and opportunities the course offered also stood out to me, along with the fact Sheffield is known for being a great student city!
What was one of your fondest memories about your study?
The opportunities I was given to travel during my degree were without a doubt my fondest memories of my study. The Department of Chemical Engineering has great links with the Global Opportunities department and I was lucky enough to receive a global scholarship in my first year and also study abroad in my third year. As a global scholar, I got to attend a summer semester at a university in Seoul, South Korea. I took a really interesting course on climate change in the mornings, then had the rest of the day and weekends to explore with friends I had made from all around the world! After having an incredible experience in South Korea, I decided I wanted to apply to the study abroad programme. As part of the global engineering exchange programme, I spent my third year at the University of Pittsburgh, USA!
What are you doing now?
I am currently working for FairHeat, the UK's leading heat network consultancy, as a graduate engineer. I am currently on my first of four six-month placements within the company, working on the New Build side of the business. My role involves spending time on-site carrying out commissioning reviews and acceptance testing, as well as working on the design of new heat network systems and developing the skills to deliver cost and energy-saving measures to clients. Being part of lots of projects at any one time means no day is ever the same, and working within a small company meant I have been given responsibility and ownership from the get-go!
What would you tell your first year self if you could?
My advice would be to not get too worried about the workload and instead take up as many opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities. Whether that be the hundreds of sports clubs and societies available within the students union or the departments own Chemical Engineering Society! There is no better way to make friends, pursue your hobbies and also explore new interests. Also just have fun and enjoy every minute whilst you can - the first year is the least intense out of all the years and before you know it, you'll be graduating!
Any advice to current students before they graduate?
Take advantage of everything the university and department have to offer! Attend careers fairs and careers days, take every opportunity to network with industry and explore the options you could take going forward. There are plenty of opportunities out there to develop your skills and add to your CV if you get involved; any experience is good experience!
I also wouldn't worry if you have no clue what you want to do, there is no rush to enter employment. Seek all the advice you can get, take any experience out there and look into all industries! A chemical engineering degree opens doors into such a wide range of industries and the skills we develop make us sought by lots of employers. The jobs will always be out there so don't feel pressured into finding a job immediately - take your time and find what you're passionate about!
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