Alexandra Chineze Agbu
MEng Mechanical Engineering
I was born in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria. Growing up, it was evident to me that I had a natural affinity for mathematics, with which a lot of my peers struggled. As you would expect, this lead me towards the science field and I chose my school subjects based on this. I have also taken a variety of summer jobs before coming to Sheffield.
I chose the University of Sheffield mostly because of its high ranking. Before starting my course at the main University, I attended the Sheffield International College (a foundation college that helps students progress onto the university). During my time at the college, I had the opportunity to pick among different universities where I might progress onto, but already in my short stay, I had fallen in love with the beautiful city of Sheffield, its people and most importantly, its university and student life which I couldn’t wait to be a part of!
The most enjoyable thing about being at this university is being able to do and learn something I love. I like the practical laboratory sessions we have each week, which allow me put what I’ve learnt into practice. It also gives me the opportunity to assess whether I have really understood the taught topic by using applied situations.
We also had an exciting piece of coursework called the “Engineering Applications Week” where we got to manufacture a vice ourselves, under the supervision of lab assistants. I learnt how to operate industrial machines, and produce a simple device; in this case, a clamp. I still have mine as a memento in my room!
The most valuable aspect of my course is the thorough method of teaching. The lectures are given at a steady pace to make sure everyone understands the work. Coupled with that, we are given numerous online quizzes, tutorial practice sheets and small tutorial sessions where you can ask one-on-one questions if there is any subject you are struggling with. Topics are laid out in such a comprehensive manner that you would actually have to work HARDER to NOT understand a topic!
I find the teaching and study methods really effective. I am a very detailed person, and I don’t like to move on from a topic without completely understanding it. As you would guess, this is most times is a very time-consuming process. Thus, the fact that I am able to move at the same pace with the rest of the class says a lot.
The benefit of an education from the University of Sheffield is that it not only leaves you academically sound, but also socially apt. There are so many societies to join, projects to take part in, jobs to apply for, and other opportunities here. It is my opinion that graduation sees most University of Sheffield students off with CVs bursting with different valuable and essential skills, provided they utilise their time here wisely.
The best thing about life at the University of Sheffield is definitely the Student’s Union! Everyone is really friendly, and there’s lots of support if you ever need help with any issues. There are many different people from such varied backgrounds, yet somehow everyone stills feels integrated. There is an innate balance between academic life and social life. No one wants to go through university just studying all year round; we all need a break now and then to unwind! Here, you get to have the best of both worlds. Another really nice thing about Sheffield is that it is a cheap city to live in, especially for students. I’m able to save a lot just because of all the free student discounts you’re entitled to here. So always ask before paying for anything!
After I have finished my course, I’d like to get a good job in industry and put into practice all that I’ve learnt from the university and life in general. By God’s grace, a few years after that I can start up my own business, applying the working experience I have gained.
I’d like to advise prospective students to try and take a day trip here, or pay a visit here, before you come if you can, and see the beautiful city of Sheffield for yourself. And if you do end up studying here, do take time to live each day and moment as it comes. It’s very easy to get lost in the exciting sea of university life!
You can find out more about me and other ambassadors from West Africa on the West Africa blog.