Having attended seven open days, I concluded that Loughborough was the university offering the most interesting course, the best laboratory and IT facilities and the most robust student support system. Furthermore, the graduate employment rate and starting salary are both excellent.
The teaching quality has been very good, with lecturers ensuring my knowledge and understanding in each module were consolidated as we progressed. They were also willing to answer questions clearly and thoroughly. Regarding facilities, the IT suites were always spacious enough to accommodate me so I could finish any work, and everything ran smoothly in the laboratories, giving me the best opportunity to understand the theory behind each experiment put into practice. Applying more advanced mathematical and scientific knowledge and skills to realistic problems, particularly in the Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Process Balances and Stagewise Processes modules, are what I have enjoyed most about my course.
Lecturers respond to emails very quickly, and my personal tutor has been on hand to ensure my progress was being made as expected, and I had phone calls during the 2020 lockdown to ensure I had adequate means to study and sit remote exams at home.
In terms of extra-curricular activities, RAG has been fantastic – I joined the Machu Picchu challenge, the fundraising for which has been very rewarding; the trek has been postponed to 2021 and is still very exciting. Hosting pub quizzes, partaking in bucket collections and doing bake sales have all been very enjoyable.
In the future, I’d like to work as a process engineer, preferably in pharmaceuticals, food or fast-moving consumer goods before moving into management or consultancy. Loughborough will facilitate a year-long industrial placement to provide me with work experience before completing my degree, and as always, lecturers, many of whom have experience in these fields, would be willing to have conversations about entering and working in these areas.
The advice I'd give to someone considering this course would be to prepare for work outside your comfort zone, such as group projects, computer-aided design, programming and some essays. Don’t be afraid to use your initiative to complete these tasks to the best of your ability using your judgement and advice from your lecturers.
My greatest achievement so far has been ranking in the top 15 students on my course for part A, achieving a weighted average of 80.9%, showing that hard work does pay off.
I’ve been inspired to step out of my comfort zone more often, especially in social and extra-curricular contexts. Loughborough has taught me that hard academic work is only part of being successful, and has brought me into contact with more kinds of people with very different personalities I otherwise wouldn’t have met or formed good relationships with.
I also wouldn’t have been inspired to take opportunities like those offered by RAG had it not been for Loughborough’s encouragement of challenging oneself. Because of all of these things, I’ve become a more confident person after completing my first year at Loughborough and aspire to continue to grow, so I can be successful in my career, form meaningful relationships with people and make the most of life, now and in the future.