Arisha Osmani Civil Engineering student

Arisha Osmani

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

I am an exchange student from Canada, and I wanted to pick a university abroad that would offer a wide and exciting range of modules, a great social atmosphere, and is highly ranked in the field I am studying.  After months of research into universities not just in England, but around the world, I picked University of Leeds because it has the perfect balance of all the three things I wanted.

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

The best aspect of studying engineering has been knowing that I can push my boundaries further and further, until I no longer see them as an obstacle. Doing well in this course requires a lot of dedication, effort, and discipline. There were many times when I thought of giving up because the coursework was too hard, or the workload was too much to handle. Being able to overcome all that and gain confidence in myself has been a great aspect of studying engineering. 

As for the university, it has an extensive focus on research and innovation. I was amazed at the variety of labs available for civil engineering students – from hydraulics and concrete manufacturing to geotechnics - the university is the perfect playground for curious minds to explore.

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

An exciting project I worked on was designing a low-cost housing scheme in a developing country. We had to create technical designs & drawings to build a house, the road network and the water supply and sanitation in a low-income area in South-East Asia. What made it exciting was that it was not a straightforward design project; we had to consider earthquake and cyclone resilience measures along with the environmental health and social implications of a low income area during the design process.

I personally liked coming up with innovative solutions as the coursework outline was very open-ended in how we could approach the problem. Even though that made it more challenging, I liked that it was similar to a real-world design problem.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds has an amazing social life! There are many restaurants, pubs, concert venues and shopping areas. I don’t think there has ever been a day where I’ve been bored in Leeds, or had nothing to do. Everyone here is really friendly and always down to have fun. From hosting some of my favourite bands at the O2 academy, to the art sessions at The Fenton and all the nightlife in between, Leeds is the perfect mix of everything a big city can offer with the comfort and safety of a little town.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I hope to work on a construction site for a year as a project manager, then as a consulting engineer before moving into management and business development roles. 

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

Choosing to study in Leeds meant leaving my family, friends and comfort zone behind to start a life here all on my own. Leaving all that – even if just for a year - comes with its own every day social and academic challenges. I know that if I am successfully able to overcome these and make the most of my time here, I will be very well prepared to enter the real world once I graduate.  

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

Don’t be scared of picking engineering as a profession. It does require a lot of hard work, but it is more fun than you’d think and totally worth it!