Tuesday 24 October 2017 News Updated at 07:10 AM IST
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Building a strong foundation - Deccan Herald
Building a strong foundation
Akshit Sood,
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Akshit Sood
I am a third-year Mechanical engineering student at the University of Sheffield, England. I was born and brought up in Delhi. I always had a dream of living in a different country and studying in a world class university. While considering my options in England, Sheffield grabbed my attention. I choose the University of Sheffield as it is one of the best places to study Mechanical engineering.

Practical exposure

The most exciting thing about studying at this university is to see the application of the different concepts learnt in lectures into real-life problems. Numerous practical sessions ensure that we have the true knowledge of everything that is being taught to us particularly, when we are provided with exceptional industrial equipment. As a result, we are able to become familiarised with the high-tech equipment currently being used in the

At Sheffield, the engineering faculty places an emphasis on social responsibility and organises a faculty challenge for its students every year. Last year, this was termed 'Engineering - You’re Hired’ and we were divided into teams of students from different engineering backgrounds, given a real-life engineering problem to solve and a week’s time to solve it.

My project was based on designing a fuel-efficient autonomous road vehicle that can operate on UK roads safely. For this, we had to research and understand the existing radar and sensor systems available in the market. At the end of the week, we presented our solution to a panel of judges. We were awarded the best overall solution. Through this challenge, I not only gained an experience of working with engineers from different fields but also improved my interpersonal skills.

Right from my first year, I have been actively involved in both academic and social activities. In my second year, I was given a chance to join the railway challenge team of our university. As a part of the challenge organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), we designed and manufactured miniature railway locomotives in accordance with the set of rules and technical specifications. Recently, I completed a group design project which involved working with Furrer +Frey AG which gave me a clear insight of the railway industry. The project gave me an opportunity to learn about the industry standards and to spearhead a real engineering challenge.

Beyond academics

Apart from these, I have been volunteering for various local organisations in Sheffield. I am currently working as a volunteering ambassador at the Sheffield Volunteering. This role has provided me with events management and time management skills by working for the volunteering committee and helping them plan and organise various events throughout the year. This includes their most famous event - the 24-hour volunteering event. I am also a member of fundraising group for The British Heart Foundation, organising various fundraising events for the welfare of the community. What’s great about studying abroad is the kind of exposure you get through extracurricular activities like these. This has not only allowed me to enjoy my time at the university more, but also to expand my career prospects and boost my interpersonal skills.

As I look back to the day I was flying to Sheffield to start a new phase of my life, I was nervous to leave my home but at the same time excited to discover a new country and new people from different backgrounds. My first impression of Sheffield was that it was a beautiful city with friendly people.

My experience as an international student was such a warm one that I never felt that I was away from home. It has been a good time for me as I improved my personality as an individual, I learned about different cultures, made new friends from various countries, and discovered a different me.