Mechanical Engineering tips
Recent Aeronautical Engineering Graduate, Hussain Ladak, shares his top 10 tips for starting university life.
If you were told A-levels will be the hardest thing you’ll do, don’t be fooled if you plan to do engineering. I can say having completed a BEng in Mechanical Engineering it will be one of the most challenging but exciting things you will ever do. It must be nerve racking thinking I will be starting university in a few months! Will I be okay? Will it be hard? Will I make friends? Don’t worry; I will let you into my secret list of how to survive university as an engineering student.
1. Fresher’s week! Get involved. Try and go to as many of the events that interest you. If none of them interest you, then force yourself to go to at least two. I guarantee you it’s the best place to meet some amazing people. The Fresher’s fair is also a must, it’s a great way to get involved and joining societies will be a fun activity to do as well as build skills that will help throughout your degree and beyond.
2. Be prepared. Make sure you have enough stationery and that you have looked at what modules your course consists of. Don’t be surprised if you have been given coursework to do in your first week (Tip: Try revising what you have learnt in A-levels that are relevant to your course. You can find this on your moodle course specifications)
3. Organisation. I can almost guarantee you that you will be loaded with work from coursework exams and assignments to final module exams. These will pile up very quickly so make sure you organise time to revise, do your assignments, social, jobs and of course personal time [this will be essential in getting through the year for any degree]. (Tip: Overestimate time for work and revision as these can sometimes take longer than expected.)
4. Friends. Make sure you try making friends on your course as you will be spending a lot of time with them but also try making other friends from other courses/your halls of residence. These other friends will be your short escape from the engineering world (which you will sometimes need).
5. Costs. London is an expensive place especially if you haven’t lived here before. Make sure you carry your university card everywhere and ask everyone if they give student discount (you’d be surprised at how many places don’t advertise this). Also make sure you get the student oyster card (if you have a railcard, link this to your oyster for extra discount).
6. Location. City University is located in such a location that you could probably walk to places in central London (like Kings Cross, Barbican, Farringdon, St Pauls, Old Street) rather than pay for transport. Also explore the local areas there is lots to do in places that aren’t well known to the student world; like going to watch a movie/theatre show in Barbican centre for example.
7. Food. There are so many places to eat in locality of City University. Don’t always go to the well-known places try some of the local markets like Farringdon market, White cross market and the market in Angel. If that doesn’t interest you there are plenty restaurant, bars, pubs and clubs also around from serving fish and chips and American burgers to lobster and Pan-Asian food. You’ll be spoilt for choice for the variety of venues to go to on Friday/Saturday night so find out from your SU rep and friends on events around London that night.
8. Become a member of IMechE/Royal Aeronautical Society. These professional bodies give free memberships to students as well as hold lot of events relevant to your course and networking events (which you will see are important as the years go by). They will also help you to become chartered engineers once you graduate.
9. Careers service. The university careers service is probably one of the most important things you will need to know for your time at university. They can help you with applications for all kinds of jobs whether it is just a summer job or a placement year, they are there to help. Also Unitemps (inside the careers service) provide temporary jobs for students to earn money by helping out at open days to writing articles (like this).
10. Finally... The course. University is an experience like no other, make time to do everything but don’t take your eye off the ball (education). Try to get to know some of the staff as they are very friendly and try to help you with all aspects of your university life, this can also be very handy when you need some information urgently.
Good luck with all your future endeavours, I’m sure many of you will join me in being a City Alumni. Work hard and play hard.