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My choice of career was initially difficult. My interests are widely varied, covering everything from biology to philosophy and from art to technology. I have come to see engineering as a discipline that can satisfy and further develop my interests. I have enjoyed studying Maths and Physics at A-Level, and this has helped me to refine my problem-solving skills as well as increasing my theoretical knowledge. I am especially interested how maths reveals parallels between separate branches of physics. My studies, and my wide experience of engineering from a work perspective has shown me that my career choice is correct.
Over Christmas 2003, I worked in a cycle shop, dealing with assembly, maintenance and repair. This first taste of engineering as work rather than a hobby whetted my appetite for more.
Every weekend since November 2003, I have worked in the warehouse at a Comet store, where one of my responsibilities is to deal with returned products. Working with faulty electrical goods has shown me first-hand what opportunities for improvement exist across the field.
After finishing GCSEs, I participated in a 12-week training placement at Chromogenex, a local medical engineering firm. The experience was fascinating, and I accepted an offer of employment with the company until I started college, and have been asked to return whenever I am available in the future. My work at Chromogenex was varied, including production and service, and I was given significant quality control duties. One of my most interesting responsibilities was to write the Work Instructions and Procedures, which production and service engineers will refer to as guidance to ensure that all products are of the highest standard.
In October 2006, I took a week's work placement at a Rhos Designs, a design engineering firm whose main client is 3M. I enjoyed the CAD work, and the chance to take part in real projects, which will soon be put to use at 3M's various sites across Britain.
I also like to use CAD for projects of my own, which recently included drawing up a design for a competition in which I participated. The competition involved planning and designing a home-made potato launcher to a deadline and a tight budget. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am already working on my next design!
During 2005, I was part of a four-person team working on a project on the EESW scheme run by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The project was an exciting task set by Corus at Trostre Tinplate Works. We were asked to design and build a solution to the problem of split edges in the cold rolling line. Our solution was effective and economical, and if adopted by Corus, could save the company thousands of pounds per hour, as the line would no longer need to be stopped in order to carry out emergency repairs. We designed and built a prototype solution, and a mock-up of Trostre's SCADA system to demonstrate the solution's potential. Our project received a prize for 'Most effective use of IT' at the Welsh National Convention of Excellence in Engineering.
Before starting my degree course, I intend to enrol on the YinI scheme, which should give me an in-depth experience of engineering work, and help ground my subsequent studies.
In my spare time, I enjoy computing, and am fluent with several operating systems and specific software packages. I have attended part-time courses in programming, graphics, CAD and Programmable Controllers for my own interest. Another important interest for me is linguistics, and I intend to continue my study of French to the highest level as well as beginning to learn other languages alongside engineering.
For me, studying at this university would be as much about the experience as the qualification. I believe that engineering is a discipline that will offer me a chance to make a tangible difference in the world, and I am certain I will enjoy the opportunity to fully reach this potential.