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Cheshta Sharma

The diversity of engineering meant that whatever my interest, there is probably a place for you working in engineering. From information technology to medical science and mining, from building roads to space travel, engineers are working to make things happen.

I was very keen in learning more about Computers, especially observing that over the years, people were relying more and more on technology to support their lifestyle. This gave me a prospect to design innovative, cutting edge technical tools which can later help within wide spread industries. Apart from technical skills, the course provides you with practical skills such a teamwork, communication which are highly essential in order to succeed within the working world.

Ever since the first open day visit, I knew I wanted to come to Warwick University. Not only did the campus entail every facility for a student to blossom, but the opportunities offered by the institute were the main selling points. With over 200 societies to choose from, it was hard not to find your interests and pursue them.

The Engineering course itself was unique, as it offered two years of generic engineering modules which allowed the students to explore their strengths and passions which they pursued in the later years.

The reason why I chose Engineering especially within Warwick were the opportunities to develop that the course offered. Having two generic years, I got to learn the basics of all four streams that Warwick offers and also understand where my interests lie. For me, the first two years assured me that my strengths lied within Computer Engineering but the knowledge gained has also helped me within the working world. After my third year, I took a voluntary year out where I interned at Microsoft for 13 months. This was an exceptional opportunity where I was given the chance to apply my knowledge I acquired from my course and other experiences from my life. This motivated and allowed me to focus well within my final year of the Master’s degree.

The practicality of the course is also beneficial because it allows you to apply the knowledge you have gained in the lectures within the labs straight after. For me, it really highlighted the activities I was good at and also made me learn how to work within a team or individually more effectively.

My favourite lecture(s) would have to be the business modules offered in the fourth year of the MEng path. The reason why these were much preferred by me was because they applied the most o the path of project management I wanted to take and also the skills and knowledge acquired from these modules can be applied to any discipline.

As I progressed within my course, interacting with the lecturers within their office hours was a good support mechanism as that allowed me to understand the module in greater depth. After doing the year out in industry, I was very keen to take on more business modules and School of Engineering was very supportive of me when I chose to learn a few Warwick Business School (WBS) modules.

My expectations for Warwick were high. Being one of the top ten universities in the country, I expected the education, the quality of lecturers, fellow- students and the facilities provided to be outstanding. And in the past 5 years here, I have to admit I have not been disappointed. Warwick gave me the opportunity to work for one of the most recognised firms in the world, Microsoft. The institution provided me with skills not only suitable for an engineer but to be a good, well rounded adult. The modules, both engineering and business, have taught me practical skills that will be very useful within the working world and being part of numerous societies have given me lifelong friends and some amazing memories to take away.

So far, my best memory would be all the experiences and people I encountered when I was part of One World Week and This is Africa (TiA) societies. Here, I got to meet many people around the world, learnt their experiences and build on skills that would help me within my future career. Especially within One World Week, I got to meet many talented individuals which inspired me to follow my own passions.

For anyone considering undergraduate study at Warwick, I would advise them to approach their time at Warwick with an open mind and try to get involved with as many things as possible earlier on within your study. This university has many international students therefore try and interact with them as much as possible because some of them have fascinating stories to share. Give it your best and grab as many opportunities as you can – you are bound to have a great time!

After receiving my offer, I read up about the university and the course as much as possible. Warwick was very prompt is making all the future undergraduates join a fresher’s page where we had a chance to interact and see who else would be joining Warwick and where they’d be living, etc.

It was also helpful to read up about the accommodation beforehand as well in order to decide what was best suited for me although the open day had already helped me pick out the best place for myself – Claycroft!

Other than that, as it was my last summer before joining university, I made sure I had as much fun as possible and occasionally read up about my course to build up the excitement.

This September, after graduation, I will be taking up the role of ‘Graduate IT Project Manager’ with ExxonMobil in London. My degree played a huge part with me landing this role as all the technical skills required for the job were learnt through the various modules taken over the years or the project work I participated in. The most impressive part for the recruiters was my 3rd year individual project as I had designed a Face detector using line drawings. This project involved me coding an application within an open ended software, Open CV and then I tested the application using several databases. The project itself highlighted the process that need to be undertaken in order have a successful project.

However, my sole aim isn’t just to be a IT Manager within Exxon, I would also like to use my skills and knowledge towards building a better, secure environment for the future generation and inspire females to take into more male dominated fields.

I've slowly started changing the stereotypical thoughts of engineering just being for me. Just like me, Debbie Sterling was studying mechanical engineering within Stanford University; she was too disturbed by how few women there were in the program, so she set out to do something about that.

Debbie knows she’s a rarity with estimates claiming less than 15% of the world’s engineers are women. But considering that engineers make the biggest advances in our society and that women make up about half the world’s population, she believes the world deserves to have the female perspective when it comes to these advances. She sank her savings into starting GoldieBlox, a toy company aiming to “help girls build the future” by “disrupting the pink aisle” and introducing girls to the joy of engineering at a young age. Sterling’s start-up has been a notable success. Stocked by companies like Toys R Us and, GoldieBlox is growing in popularity. So secure is the company that it became the first start up ever to run a Super Bowl ad in 2014.

Debbie is a great example of how to use engineer for the future generation and this is exactly what I aspire to be!

Can you describe a typical day in the life at the University? Depending on the number of lectures within a day, I typically spend my day dividing my time between society work and course work (this would happen within Term 1 and Term 2). Within 2nd and 3rd year, I lived in Leamington Spa therefore I would spend all my day within the library, leaving it for either lectures or meetings.

Alongside studying at Warwick, I was also appointed as the Head of IT for the world’s largest student run event (One World Week). My role required me to elect and supervise a team of six where our main goal was to produce various websites and related applications. Besides taking care of my team, I also had to deal with technical issues raised by other departments, putting my patience and time managing skills under a test. Through this role, not only did my technical skills develop, but it helped me identify how the effectiveness of communication and motivation can bring success to a given task within a team.

My teamwork and organisational skills were both exhibited after being elected as the Vice President of ‘This is Africa’ society at Warwick. Known as the President’s right hand woman, stepping in and taking over whenever the President was unavailable was second nature to me. My role was ensuring that everything within the society ran smoothly as well as avoiding any last minute disruptions when organising society events.

As the Head Speaker for Hindu Society, my key responsibility was to organise and deliver weekly presentations to a group of audience. This was achieved by contacting several local Hindu Communities in order to gain more in-depth knowledge about the assigned topic. This strengthened my public speaking skills as the presentations always required me to engage a large group of spectators.

For the first three years at Warwick, I supported myself via a role of a Beauty Consultant at Boots in Leamington Spa and during my final year, I was a Student Caller.

For my first and final year, I was within Claycroft, which in my opinion is the best accommodation on campus as it’s close to Tesco’s, the library and the engineering department and finally its right next to the gym. Within my second and third year, I lived in Leamington Spa which is the top choice for most students.

The reason why Leamington was the best choice to live was due to its small size, everyone was closely based so it had a campus feel to it. The shops, the nightlife and the quality of restaurants also added to the good experience, however, the only downside was the travel into campus as it would sometimes take a long time if buses were late. Especially during Term 3, you had to be a little more organised to make sure you don’t miss any early morning exams!

Fact file

Course: MEng Computer and Information Engineering with Business Management
Year: 4th (Final) Year
Interesting fact about me: I have interned with the world’s biggest software firm, Microsoft for 13 months and have also featured on their graduate programme.
What is your top money-saving tip? Try and cook as much as you can at university and make sure you don’t spend all your student loan at once – at the end of the term when celebration is most essential, make sure you have a little left to have a good time.