Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University?
Originally, I was not going to study Physics at university and so did not take the correct subjects at A Level. When I changed my mind, I learnt about the foundation year programme at Loughborough University which allows you to gain any missing knowledge needed to go on and study a Physics or Engineering degree. This was what first drew me to Loughborough, but the embracing community of students and staff made me decide to stay after my foundation year and go on study Physics.
What made you choose to study Physics?
Growing up, I always had a curiosity about anything and everything and absolutely loved learning. My favourite science has always been Physics, however I started to question this as I grew older and less of my friends thought the same. As someone who liked to stay in their comfort zone, one of the bravest decisions I made was choosing to study Physics at A Level making me one of only two girls in a group of thirty students to do so. My passion for Physics grew from there, with the help of some inspiring role models, and ever since I have not looked back and knew I wanted to carry on studying Physics at university.
Did you come on an open day? If so, how did that influence your decision to study at Loughborough?
I visited Loughborough on an open day, one of my favourite parts of the day was the STEMLab tour. I was amazed at the facilities and had the opportunity to speak with a Physics student who had just come back from her placement year, after hearing about her experience I knew I wanted to go on to undertake a year in industry myself. At Loughborough University students have the choice of undertaking a placement year or a year of study abroad, both of which were options I was interested in and further confirmed my decision to study at Loughborough.
What do you enjoy most about being a Loughborough student?
The welcoming atmosphere drew me to Loughborough straight away, I have made some friends for life and with so much to get involved with you are sure to find a place you belong.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
I enjoyed the practical, hands-on learning that my course gave me. I learn by doing, so having labs, both experimental and computational, embedded within the course helped me to break down complex systems, understand the context of different topics, and appreciate how what we learn relates to real-life applications. Skills, both technical and soft, which I have since learnt are extremely desirable among employers. The physics department is immensely supportive, whether it be lecturers, PhD students, or other students on the course. Everyone is willing to help in any way they can, so you never feel that you have to struggle alone.
The Physics facilities at Loughborough are great, the STEMLab contains everything you would need to carry out experimental work, and the Physics lab sessions are purposely left brief and more student-led meaning you can align your project to make the most out of the facilities available.
How did your placement in industry help with your future career goals?
I recently completed a placement year at Leonardo (an aerospace defence company) as a Systems Engineer. I worked within the Electronics department and was part of a team focused on research and development of innovative techniques for future aircrafts. Throughout my placement I quickly learnt how valuable my Physics background was, from modelling functionalities between systems to presenting results to a room of stakeholders, I found myself tapping into skills I had developed through my course.
During my placement I was immersed within the company, I was part of an amazing team and worked on real projects. The year was invaluable for my professional development, I constantly absorbed knowledge, improved my interpersonal skills and feel prepared to continue my career after graduating.
Tell us about your group project and how that has helped you?
The final year group project is year-long, and the brief given to us is left open ended. So far in the project, being able to utilise Systems Engineering tools has been vital in breaking down the problem and putting together a solution. It was great to see that the techniques and ideas taught to us during the project module were the same as ones I used over my placement in industry!
I always enjoy group projects; throughout the Physics course you get the opportunity to work with many different people on your course and with each new group you learn something new. Teamwork is such a vital skill during university and in the workplace, I have had the opportunity to develop these skills throughout my years at Loughborough and my placement year which has helped me identify my strengths and given me confidence to build upon these and excel.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying Physics at Loughborough?
My advice for anyone considering studying Physics at Loughborough is that you definitely do not have to be the smartest person in your class to do so, just willing to have a go. If you enjoy problem solving, being creative and constantly learning, then Physics is for you.
What are your plans for the future?
I loved the constant challenge and variety of work that comes from being in the defence sector so was delighted when I was offered a place on the graduate scheme at Leonardo during my placement year. I will join as a Graduate Systems Engineer but am hoping to transition into Engineering Management as my career progresses in the future.