Before applying to the universities in UK, I read up on the engineering courses offered by the different universities. There were four reasons why I chose to apply to the University of Bristol. Firstly, the university was ranked among the top three universities in UK for aerospace engineering. Secondly, it is located near aerospace companies and it has several industrial partnerships with these companies. Thirdly, the research that was carried out in ACCIS appealed to me.
More importantly, the University has various schemes to support its students and improve their employability. One of them is the industrial mentoring scheme where first year undergraduates meet engineers in companies such as National Composites Centre, Rolls-Royce etc. I was assigned to a mentor that works at Airbus. Not only did I have the opportunity to tour the Airbus facility in Filton, but also obtain advice on how to improve my CV and gain insight into what working life is like in Airbus. This scheme is unique to University of Bristol and in this regard, the university has shown their commitment towards improving the employability of its students.
I also participated in another mentoring scheme that is specifically designed to support first year international students, I was introduced to a third year senior who was also studying aerospace engineering. In our meetings, she shared with me her experiences in university and this helped me in preparing myself for the next academic year. She was also a great inspiration to me as she was doing well in her research project and secured herself a graduate position in Airbus. Over the years we have become friends and we continue to keep in contact even though she has graduated from university.
In my three years at Bristol, working on my Individual Exploratory Project (IXP) was the most enjoyable and rewarding experience. The professors and research assistants in ACCIS were extremely helpful and approachable. They gave me the freedom to choose my research topic and organise my work schedule, thus encouraging me to be independent and to take responsibility of my own learning. At the same time, weekly meetings with the research assistants allowed me to clarify any doubts I had and obtain feedback on my work. Under their guidance, I learnt to properly structure a research report as well as carry out the appropriate data collection and analysis. I have certainly benefitted greatly from the knowledge and experience of the professors and research assistants in the university.