The scholarship gave me an opportunity to study here, at a world leading institution for engineering

Chalisa Pusitdhikul
Chalisa Pusitdhikul
MEng Chemical Engineering with a Year in Industry
Winner of an Undergraduate Merit Scholarship
There is always something new going on during the week, such as give it a go day trips, local markets and SU events, which adds more colour to my university life. 

How did you first hear about your scholarship? 

When I was applying for university, I knew that getting a scholarship would lift some pressure off me and will allow me to fully focus on my course. I therefore searched for opportunities and the International Undergraduate Merit Scholarship offered by The University of Sheffield was one of, if not the best offer from a Russell Group university. I did not hesitate to apply and I am so glad I was selected as one of the successful candidates. 

On the other hand, the Engineering Excellence Scholarship is an automatic scholarship provided by the department which came to me by surprise in the welcome email when I received my unconditional offer. 

How does it feel to have been awarded a scholarship?

It was the closest feeling I have felt to the word ‘successful’. That one single email that changed my life and gave me this new adventure could not have made me feel prouder of myself and grateful for all the support. Now that I am here in Sheffield, I get flashbacks occasionally of myself perfecting my scholarship application and the effort I put in my studies to achieve my final grades. These fond memories give me the motivation to work harder for the bigger goal in front of me. 

What made you choose to study at Sheffield and your course?

I started to understand the importance of manufacturing after volunteering with the Thai Red Cross Society. The shortage of essential supplies, specifically pharmaceuticals, is threatening the lives of many LEDC residents. This led me to discover the role of chemical engineers which serves as one of the most important positions in manufacturing. The University of Sheffield already has a high reputation for engineering, but also is the only university in the UK that offers pharmaceutical engineering as a stream of specialisation for chemical engineers. The facilities such as the diamond pilot plant also makes me certain that the quality of education here is going to go beyond expectations and I was never disappointed. 

How did you research the University to find out about studying in Sheffield?

I have been studying in a British international school since kindergarten which makes me familiar with the education system in the UK and therefore becomes my top destination for university. I started off my research with the Russell Group universities and the University of Sheffield struck me as one of the universities with excellent engineering facilities such as the diamond pilot plant and career services. I also contacted several student ambassadors through the chat function available on the university website to learn more about student life. This is when I came across SELA and many other student-led projects available across the university, all of which are highly successful and makes Sheffield one of my top choices for university.   

What are you enjoying about your first semester? 

In my opinion, the best part is to be able to study on-campus. Having in-person lectures and conducting experiments in diamond labs has made my course more enjoyable. Additionally, Sheffield city also allowed me to have a good work life balance. The cafés and parks nearby the university are perfect spots for me to recharge after a long day of work. However, there is also always something new going on during the week, such as give it a go day trips, local markets and SU events, which adds more colours to my university life. 

How has (or will) the scholarship benefit your studies?

Without the scholarship, I would not be studying at The University of Sheffield. With this in mind, my experiences at another university would be completely different, whether in terms of the curriculum, facilities or student life. I, of course, can’t say which one I would like it better, but I know that I won’t be able to learn from the same professors which are very dedicated, get hands on experience in the diamond labs and become an academic rep to help the department improve. The scholarship gave me an opportunity to study here, at a world leading institution for engineering, and that is the biggest benefit. 

What advice would you give to a student considering studying at the University of Sheffield?

Sometimes you may not feel confident when applying, but remember that everything is worth a try. Every applicant is in the same position and every application has equal probability of being successful, so never limit yourself by looking at your grades or extra-curricular activities. Most importantly, never compare your applications with others because each and every university values different aspects of a candidate. The University of Sheffield conducts several information sessions for international students to give a better overview of the university and I personally found those to be very useful, so I highly encourage you to attend and get engaged with what the university is offering. Also make sure you stay up-to-date with the university news by following social media pages and checking the website regularly, because it will give you a better idea of the university’s environment. 

What do you hope to do in the future?

My long-term goal is to become a process engineer in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Pharmaceuticals are considered one of the essential products humans need, yet there are still shortages in certain countries due to lack of finance. As a result, I hoped that, as a process engineer, I would be able to work on optimizing pharmaceutical production so that greater efficiency could be achieved, making products more accessible and affordable to consumers. 


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