Henry Hickman

Henry Hickman

Why did you choose to study Civil and Environmental Engineering at Leeds?

I chose this course as I was numerate and enjoyed problem solving a lot more than long English essays! Engineering was a great fit for me. The skills gained from engineering are very transferable, I did not know what I wanted to do after university, so having a degree which had a large amount of possibilities available was important for me.
The location of the campus in Leeds is perfect! It is within a 10 minute walk to accommodation in one direction and 10 minutes to the city in the other. The range of facilities and extracurricular activities that you can get involved with is almost endless – there really is something for everyone!

Did you enjoy studying abroad?

I went to the University of Calgary in Canada for my Study Abroad year. It was a really interesting city with a range of temperatures and traditions: it ranged from +30 degrees to -40 in just a few months.

During the year I worked on two interesting engineering projects: the first involved an Eco village located in the Canadian Rockies, where I consulted and designed the infrastructure for a habitation of 100+ people over an area of 500 acres. In the second project, we completed a conceptual three phase environmental site assessment for a real site in Northern Alberta. This involved learning about accepted remedial practices and guidelines in Canada, which are different to those in the UK. It was great to work as part of a strong team and we delivered a 400 page report, presentation and a winning poster design which fetched us a $1000 (£750) prize!

In my spare time I joined the university of Calgary rugby team and was part of a team who became champions of western Canada. In Leeds I play at an intramural level so it was great to step up to university level. It was a great way to socialise with Canadians. I also went skiing and travelled throughout North America.

The year in Canada has given me increased confidence and maturity. I believe I have also gained a greater understanding of cultural variation from living with people from all around the world. Study abroad is something that will set you apart, when applying to jobs you can say that you lived in a different coutnry and taken yourself out of your comfort zone.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently in the process of applying for a graduate job. I have applied for roles in civil engineering and software engineering. With whatever I chose to do I can use my year abroad to my advantage. It proves that I am self-dependent and responsible. It will hopefully give me the edge in applications, as it shows I went the extra mile.

My time at Leeds has given me many experiences and skills that will help me to get a successful graduate job. Delivering several large scale individual design projects on time has given me experience and confidence and it has improved my time management skills and given me self-belief in the workplace. I have also learnt lessons from things that haven’t gone well in the projects. Playing sport at the university has further developed my teamwork and communication skills too!