My interest in civil engineering began after I passed my GCSE’s and moved on into 6th year. I had no real idea beforehand what I wanted to do and I went out on work experience with British Telecom doing electrical engineering. I enjoyed the week but the options as a job I found were very narrow and there wasn’t a great challenge. I read about the different types of engineering and came across civil engineering.
At first it reminded me of architecture which I thought was a very interesting subject but I didn’t have the artistic side, but with civil engineering, I have always appreciated the large structures and buildings which have surrounded me and I have always had respect for the people who have been involved with the design and constructions of these buildings on such a large scale. I liked the different aspects of it, using knowledge of maths and science subjects to apply to real life situations such as building structures, roads bridges and dams. It suited me much more. Not only did it look interesting but also very challenging especially working with large structures and different materials.
I chose maths, physics and biology as my A-Level subjects because I have always done well at them. I achieved an A grade, and a B grade in Maths and Additional Maths respectively, and a double A at double award science at GCSE. I have had 3 awards in the UK maths challenge outside of school where I have achieved 2 bronze awards and silver. For A-Level I found them difficult but as time went past I began to enjoy them more as I began to understand them more. I didn’t enjoy biology and it was then I knew I definitely didn’t want to go down any road which revolved around biology. The mechanics from the maths and physics was a strong point. I chose QUB because of its high reputation of success in teaching the course and the added advantage of the option of being able to go home to Derry at the weekend. In the first week of my civil engineering course, I was happy to be introduced to the solids and structure part of the course. Another of my classes was engineering drawing which seems to be straight forward drawing which I like, rather than using artistic skills I will be using rulers, protractors, compasses and other instruments which will give me precise drawings to scale. We were told about CAD which really excited me as I enjoy using computers because, if used right they are more precise than any hand drawing and can save a lot of time. Once the information has been put in once and saved you don’t have to re-enter it and with a few clicks, accurate drawing and other helpful things such as graphs can be drawn up and printed out which will be very helpful during presentations etc.
The main aspect of the civil engineering course I enjoy is obviously where I go after I leave university. Travelling to different countries is an exciting prospect and civil engineering is very important all over the world as buildings and maintaining structures will always be important everywhere. I have always wanted to make a career out of my life rather than just having a job, and hopefully if things go well I will end up with my own engineering company and to be my own boss. I wanted a job where I could have an office yet not be confined to it. I needed to be able to work in the field and see the structures that I designed. Last summer I had a job doing heavy work for my uncles contracting company. I lifted lots of rocks and dirt and helped in many different parts of the building site. The labour was hard, and I only made a few pound an hour, but I always enjoyed the job because I was working outside “on the front line”. Working in the field of civil engineering can provide me with numerous opportunities to escape from the office and breathe for a time, while I accomplish something. Consequently, choosing a career in civil engineering would allow me to do something I enjoy, help the community, and achieve financial security at the same time. I believe civil engineering is the field for me.