Name: Vamesh Jajoo
Course: MEng Mechanical Engineering
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and brought up in Indore, India. It's a moderately-sized city not unlike Sheffield which is probably why I feel at home here. I did my IGCSEs and A Levels from The Emerald Heights International School, Indore and being at an international school and studying an international curriculum encouraged me to take a global perspective to things. My favourite subject at school was Mathematics with Physics and Chemistry really close second; this along with increasing interest in manufacturing persuaded me to study Mechanical Engineering.
Why did you choose the University of Sheffield?
I chose the University of Sheffield because it is one of the best places to study Mechanical Engineering (it is ranked 3rd in the UK according to the Times Good University Guide 2014 and ranked 69th overall by the QS World University Rankings) and it has an award winning students union. This ensured that I wouldn’t be compromised academically while also being able to get actively involved in student life giving me a well-rounded university experience.
What is the most enjoyable thing about studying your subject at the University of Sheffield?
The sheer excitement! You have to build a small self-powered car, produce a lab report, work on computer modelling assignments, complete the mathematics quiz online, coordinate with your group members - there's so much to do and it's all relevant and is helping you develop skills for you to solve an industry problem in the future! There are modules ranging from various engineering disciplines but also from project management and business practice which provide you with the skills to do well wherever you go after graduation.
How do you find the teaching and the study methods at the University of Sheffield?
There are three ways in which we are taught: lectures, tutorials and labs. I find the lectures engaging and interesting which is partly because of the brilliant lecturers who are experts in their own fields and partly because of the content which is so engrossing! Tutorials are sessions with a department professor who develops understanding on the course by stimulating discussions about the course material and guiding us through any problems that we might encounter. Labs are the spaces for practical work which complement what we have learnt in theory and this adds more to our learning of the topic. There are also workshops which is where we have machines for manufacturing. We just made a vice (a self-adjustable clamp) from scratch at the workshop!
What is your opinion on Sheffield as a city?
I find myself at home at Sheffield and this is something I was really worried about as an international student. It is one of the safest cities in the UK and the greenest in Europe! And the living costs are relatively cheaper than the rest of the UK which is a great advantage to have as a student! The people are also really friendly and helpful. One third of the city lies in the Peak District national park so it is quite hilly but if you don't fancy a walk the public transport is quite efficient.
What are the benefits of studying at the University of Sheffield?
Like I said before, the University of Sheffield offers me the best in academics and the best in student life. You have leading academics as your professors and well-equipped libraries and labs to assist you in studying. Then there's the career service for any help regarding placements or jobs and they are always ready to assist. There are quite a few places to go to if you need any help like the Student Advice Centre and the SSID (Student Support Information Desk). The Students Union organises events for like-minded people to meet up and there's also parties and bands to go to. It is a very well-rounded university experience.
Do you have any plans after the completion of your course?
I would like to work in the manufacturing industry to gain some industrial exposure and commercial awareness. If I then feel the need, I had return to academics and then pursue my dream of running my own business.
What advice would you give to prospective students coming to Sheffield?
I know you will miss home because I did but the best way to counter that is get busy! Work hard at your course, join societies and clubs, volunteer, get involved in the students union: there's loads of stuff to do! You will also meet like-minded people when you get involved and being with friends will also help you adapt to the new atmosphere. University life is a challenging time and it will push you out of your comfort zone but that's where the magic happens and you will find yourself stronger, more independent and a much more capable individual.