Alexandra Mather

Alexandra Mather

Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds?

I was initially attracted to the University of Leeds due to its status as a Redbrick and Russell Group University. Not too close to home nor too far, when I visited for the open day I loved the community feel that the campus had to offer in addition to how welcomed I was made to feel in the Civil Engineering Department.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the university and why?

The best aspect of the course has been the amount of group work completed with my peers. Working in different groups has allowed my teamworking skills to develop whilst learning new things from my peers and becoming friendly with the majority of my course. Being on a course where everyone is friendly also improves the social side of uni!

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far

My favourite project was the Level 4 IDP. As a team we were required to complete the design of an urban development in Shoreditch London; providing residential, retail and office buildings whilst also considering fundamental engineering principals such as sustainability and buildability whilst making the design striking and unique. Throughout the project we worked closely with WSP – a global organisation which inspired me throughout; leading me to apply and secure a graduate role with the company after I graduate.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds gives the perfect combination of vibrant city living with country life just a stone’s throw away. I have enjoyed walks in Ilkley Moors and trips to Roundhay Park in the afternoon and been able to enjoy vibrant nights out in the famous Call Lane all on the same weekend. Leeds also has a lot to offer in terms of art, music and shopping – all whilst being in the perfect location to switch it up and enjoy trips to York, Harrogate and Manchester. In Leeds there is something for everyone.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I am excited to start my role as a Graduate Civil Engineer within the Highways department of WSP. I plan on building a career in an engineering consultancy company all whilst working to becoming a chartered civil engineer. I am particularly inspired to start after collaborating with WSP on my 4th year IDP project!

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

In addition to the large amount of team-work completed throughout the course, being President of the Civil Engineering Society has taught me valuable organisational and networking skills. Organising events such as the freshers welcome quiz, post-deadline otley run and the joint faculty engineering spring ball whilst completing my masters has also taught me the importance of time management.

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

I would recommend trying everything the course has to offer – from specialist guest lectures and site visits to the civsoc socials! I would also recommend planning your time effectively when you have big deadlines coming up – to make sure you have a good work life and social life balance whilst still being able to enjoy everything that university life can offer. Also, utilise your summer as gaining work experience is invaluable when applying for graduate jobs.