Christophe Roth Maingourd
Interviewed in his third year, studying Instrumentation and Control Engineering
Christophe studied Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Norwegian and English for the International Baccalaureate in Norway.
"Engineering is a very common career choice in Norway at the large technical schools there. I am attracted to the practical aspects of being an engineer - I do not want a desk job. I applied to Cambridge because of the flexibility of the degree course, and also because having an English qualification opens up the international job market for me. Being half French meant that I qualified for home fees too, which is financially beneficial.
I took two gap years: one while still at school, so that I could study in the French system for a year, and then I had to do my compulsory military service in the Norwegian army before university. Initially I thought I would become a civil engineer, but now, having visited a number of different companies, I have come to the conclusion that the biggest job opportunities are in Control Engineering or Electronics so those are the options I have chosen in my third year.
As well as the core modules for this option, I am also taking courses in 'dynamics and vibrations' as well as some micro-economics, management, modelling and risk assessment options. These options tend to involve quite tough mathematics, but once you have a grasp of these principles you are pretty employable in a number of market sectors.
For my work experience I worked with a company making remotely operated submarine vehicles for inspection and repair of offshore installations, and I also gained some workshop experience making parts for hydraulic motors. I very much enjoyed the hands-on work.
I enjoy student life here at Cambridge - it is very easy to socialise and have a good time. I have played a bit of squash and football, but nothing too intensive. I have also joined the Scandinavian Society. My main passion is skiing - I have been on a couple of trips with the University ski club in the vacations, and, of course, it is something I can pursue at home. The Engineering course is pretty intensive, but the holidays are long, which is a chance to catch up and let the work sink in."