Yichen's student experience - "Sheffield is a very diverse city, and I felt welcomed as an international student."

A photo of Yichen (Joanna) in the Peak District
Yichen (Joanna) Zhu
BEng Student
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Yichen (Joanna) is an international student from China pursuing a BEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Joanna is an International Engineering Ambassador, and in this Q&A shares her experience and provides advice for prospective students considering Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Joanna will continue her journey in the study of Electrical and Electronic Engineering after finishing her BEng degree, and sees herself as a competent and responsible global citizen who wants to apply her engineering knowledge in the future to make the world a better place.
A photo of Yichen (Joanna) in the Peak District
Yichen (Joanna) Zhu enjoying the stunning Peak District countryside

Why did you choose your course?

I chose a STEM stream in high school and therefore when it came to my undergraduate course, I naturally opted for engineering. I chose Electrical and Electronic Engineering because it is a very broad course and thus allows me to explore what is behind objects in my everyday life, from radio signals to smartphone displays.

What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?

The hands-on experiences. In year 2, we had many lab sessions where we constructed circuits on breadboards or by soldering. In these lab sessions, the knowledge we learnt from lectures became phenomena that we can observe. Also in the lab sessions, just like in real life, things didn't always work the way expected; but from these 'accidents', we learnt to identify the problems and tackle them accordingly and I think this greatly improved my problem-solving skills.

What advice would you give to a younger student considering studying your course at university?

The advice I would give is to explore your interest in the field of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. There are many topics in the field and they are quite different from each other.

Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?

I chose to study at the University of Sheffield because it has one of the best ranking Engineering Faculties in the UK. The city of Sheffield also has a good reputation for being one of the greenest cities in the UK.

What are the best things about studying in your department?

The department provides us with many options whether for our module choices or for our individual projects. For the allocation of our third-year project, we filled in a form stating our research interest and got allocated to different supervisors accordingly.

What did you like most about the city of Sheffield? Has your time at Sheffield met your expectations so far?

What I like most about the city of Sheffield is the environment. There are many parks in the city and the beautiful Peak District is just a bus ride away. Sheffield is also a very diverse city and I felt welcomed as an international student. There are restaurants providing different cuisines from around the world providing delicious food at a very reasonable price.

Have you used any of the careers support services run by the university? If so, how have they helped you?

I have consulted the career support services to review my CV and asked for advice for my application letters. They gave me very useful advice as to how to make my application letters more 'personal' and unique.

Are you in any student societies? What do you enjoy most about these activities?

I am in the pole fitness Society as well as the Muay Thai Society. Both societies run amazing classes with wonderful teaching staff and I have met new friends by attending their classes.

Top 10 in the UK

We're in the top 10 UK Electronic and Electrical Engineering Departments (QS World University Rankings 2021).

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