By GIS Writer : Ayanah Gulfraz
As September drew to a close, I was preparing to move to university, embarking on my undergraduate career in Aerospace Engineering. After years of dreaming about what it would be like to begin university and watching all my older friends head off – it was finally my turn! It was my chance to finally gain some independence, taking control of my studies a whole lot more (no more teachers nagging for homework) but also the responsibility of ensuring I had something to eat for all my meals, cleaning and… LAUNDRY!
On the morning of move-in day, the car was all packed up with luggage, my mum, dad, brother and I and we set off on the drive down south. I remember feeling like I should have been more nervous, but I think the long break from schooling had left me with pure excitement for ‘lectures’ and ‘tutorials’. What’s more, my best friend was going to be at the same university – I was already going to know someone there, so I wasn’t scared, as such.
Moving in went smoothly and over Freshers’ Week I met all my flatmates; one thing that I appreciated was the diversity and the fact that they were all girls made everything seem like a permanent sleepover. As the beginning of semester was approaching, I began to think more about how inevitably, there would be only a handful of girls in my classes and since I had been to an all-girls’ school for the past seven years, I was feeling unsure of myself. Though I had intentions of proving myself in class, would I be able to do so? Or would I be too intimidated? I shook these thoughts away almost as quickly as they came to me. I am the boss of my own life; I can make anything work for me. Now that I’m at university, finally on my journey towards working in the space industry, I must have faith in myself, knowing I am capable of getting there. This is the mentality I wish to instil in everyone as it is the way in which the most successful think – they don’t doubt themselves, they put themselves forward.
So, this is exactly what I began to do and now have a solid group of gals I hang out and study with on my course and I walk into all my classes with a real sense of ‘I am finally fulfilling my dreams.’ It is a nice feeling to be able to take control of your life in that way. I have also joined the Women in Engineering society at my university and went to their wonderful meet and greet evening. Meeting all of these hardworking women was truly inspirational and listening to the girls in the older years talk about their experiences on various schemes and placements really opened my eyes to the opportunities available while at university.
I also attended a panel on Women in Technology where the panellists were speaking about their routes into the Tech Industry and their personal experiences whilst working in their respective roles. What astounded me was the breadth of degrees these women had, and yet they all were in the same industry. These two events were my first networking sessions and I found it exciting to connect with people doing and studying things that are different from myself. It has given me an insight into how it will be like when I eventually break into industry – I will need to work with people from all different backgrounds towards the same goal.
All in all, my first month at university has been a brilliant time – a combination finding myself, gaining independence and meeting a lot of people. One of the most crucial things I have come to realise, however, is the importance of surrounding yourself with people that can help you achieve your goals combined with a positive mindset. This is the key to success.
Which brings me onto the most amazing opportunity that we have for you guys …
This month we have partnered with Odgers Berndtson ; A top executive research firm in London to present to you the CEOx1 day.
This is an incredible program that I myself have been on and I’m such a huge advocate for. If you are in second or third year at university and you want a glimpse into the world of executive office management business and responsibility … I can’t recommend it enough.
After a very short application process you could be paired with one of the top CEOs in the UK from companies like ASOS , ITV , CANCER RESEARCH , SAINSBURYS, THE ROYAL MINT. And so many other amazing organisations.
Click any of our links with details on how to apply.
It’s the ultimate work experience.