Name: Andrei-Claudiu Roibu (Andrei for friends ;) )
Course: Aerospace Engineering with a Year in Industry (MEng)
Hi all! First thing first: I am from Romania and was born in eastern Romania in a town called Bicaz. My name is Andrei Roibu, and I am a student… wait just a minute. Am I the only one that thinks this is a little too mainstream and classical? Hope not. First thing you need to know about Sheffield: we like to do things our way.
Before I go on writing anything else, let me introduce you to Rascal Flatts, and their song: Life is a Highway (click to open link). I could honestly say that this song best describes the way I see life and myself. A little warning before anything else: you might find me a bit crazy, but don’t worry: harmless crazy.
Now why Rocket Science at the University of Sheffield?
Yes, I did say Rocket Science because that is what is may seem for many of you. However, it’s not quite so. Firstly, I went for Aerospace Engineering because I always like a challenge. Being an aerospace engineer offers you the chance to be a true “universal engineer” because you gain skills that can be used in almost any other field, ranging from Mechanical Engineering to Law and Management. More than that, the course offers me flexibility, and the first year (where I currently stand) is an introduction, that allows you to taste and choose what field you want to specialize in afterwards. This flexibility combined with a high standard of education offered by the University, ranked 69th in the World Times Higher Education, 5th for Aerospace Undergraduate in the UK by The Complete University Guide and 1st in the UK as Student Satisfaction by the Times Higher Education, convinced me to choose to come and study here.
So, why do you like it so much?
There are many things to say here. Probably the thing I enjoy most about Aerospace Engineering is its complexity and the challenging aspects of studying it. I grew up in a family of engineers, me being the 3rd generation so far. Being part of this team at Sheffield University seems to me like I am surrounded by the best engineers, not only present but also future.
And what about teaching and studying?
The answer to that question is teamwork: you and the staff. A lot of what we do here is individual work, just as one of our professors who always tells us that this is the way good engineers are born. The staff offers us guidance in all that we are doing, and although they have to handle more than a hundred students in each year and subject, you do feel that they care for you as an individual, and for your development. Moreover, we would really need a 30-hour day to get involved in all the activities and opportunities they offer us: from research opportunities for undergraduates to flight simulators, from conferences held by world renowned experts to projects where you build drones and human powered aircraft and so on. It’s truly amazing and it takes a while to take in… well, this if we don’t mention all the activities going on at the Students Union, of course.
Okay, fair enough. It sounds interesting. And how’s Sheffield as a city?
When I started walking around the city center, I discovered a lively, green, modern city, one of the most lively I have ever seen. I discovered that it is THE safest and THE greenest in all the UK, and also one of the, if not THE cheapest to live in as a student (let’s admit it, we all have money issues). This, combined with a vivid cultural life (from theater and ballet to clubs and pubs) and the huge amount of facilities offered by The University of Sheffield and The Students Union, make Sheffield the best city for me. Honestly, I would take Sheffield instead of London in every day of the week.
Well, why not any other Uni? Why Sheffield Uni?
I will be brief here, because there is a brief answer. 1. Because they care for me, for you, for us as students and they prove this each and every day, from the moment you apply through UCAS to the day you graduate and beyond. 2. They are the best at what they are doing, and they strive to remain as such, and I feel like I belong among them, because I strive to be the best as well.
And what will you do after you graduate?
As I said above, I wish to be the best at what I do. I also like to plan ahead, long term. At the moment, after I graduate with masters after a five year course, I wish to go on and do my PhD. Where I will do it, I don’t yet know. All I know is that The University of Sheffield has high chances of seeing me around as a PhD student, because from what I’ve heard, we are in the top 3 universities in the UK in terms of research in aerospace, and by the time I finish, we might even be 1st. Afterwards, hopefully, a company will have me work for it, and in the distant future, who knows: write some history books, maybe go back into politics (no boo-ing, please), and definitely a family and kids.
Any last piece of advice?
Yes. This is what I tell all the people I talk with about coming to Uni. At first, choose with your heart. Choose what you want to do, what you will still want to do after 30 years of doing it, when you leave home for work. Afterwards, choose carefully the best country, city, university and course for you. For me, the best was here at the University of Sheffield. Take a look at the website, read a bit about it, and who knows, maybe it will be the best for you too.
For any Romanian readers requiring help or advice on the application process, or any other queries email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care and looking forward to hearing from you.