Interviewed in his third year, studying Manufacturing Engineering
I decided to become an engineer in my first few years at comprehensive school. I always liked taking things apart and building models. I did Double Maths, Chemistry and Physics at A Level, and I also took part in the Engineering Education Scheme, whilst in the sixth form. Through this scheme I worked with a local company on a project which involved finding a safe way of loading steel coils on and off ships (to prevent them falling on people). By the end of the year we had 'patent pending' on the device we made, and the working environment was much safer.
I applied to several universities, mostly to study either mechanical or aerospace engineering. I visited Cambridge on a 'Headstart' course, whereby I spent a week based at Sidney Sussex College, and really liked it. I applied to Cambridge because of its high reputation as a university, and also because I had compared lots of different Engineering courses and decided that Cambridge was the best.
I would have been quite happy concentrating on my original subject choices but it was nice to have a taster of all the different engineering areas and be more knowledgeable about the whole subject.
I chose to specialise in Manufacturing Engineering for my last two years because this course covers everything to do with manufacturing processes and combines that with learning managerial skills and a wider picture of industry. We spend about one day a week going on trips to all sorts of industries ranging from steel makers to electronics or doing workshops. We find out a lot about how different companies operate, and we can ask questions relating to our lectures on industrial practice to see how the things we learn about are applied.
Away from work, I play basketball (as I have a considerable height advantage) and am heavily involved in the Life Saving club. We do a lot of pool work and learn resuscitation skills as well as taking part in competitions.