Paulina Pawlak

Paulina Pawlak

Paulina Pawlak studies Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence MEng, BEng and undertook an industrial placement year at BMW.

Choosing Leeds

Paulina always wanted to experience studying in the UK and meet people from all over the world. She said “Coming from Poland, I always wanted to experience studying in the UK, as I love open-minded people and I really admire that in the UK there are a lot of international students – you can literally meet people from all over the world. I was looking also at Shanghai Ranking and Guardian Ranking, where the University of Leeds is really high. Moreover, I chose the University of Leeds after seeing how many societies are here.”

Paulina continued by discussing her reason to study computing. She said “My father is so passionate about computers, so he made me, as well as my brother, very passionate about technology. Since I was young, he was teaching us about it and particularly about connections between computers and people. I got very inspired, and this is how I become interested in the field of Computing.”

Year in industry

This opportunity has helped clarify my future plans. I’ve met amazing people who are inspirational.

Paulina Pawlak

An industrial placement year is a great way to help you decide what kind of career you might like when you graduate. As well as giving you the opportunity to develop your own skills, you’ll gain a real insight into working life. Paulina said “The most developing and interesting opportunity I’ve had is working on my Year-in-industry placement at BMW. I was initially concerned about moving from North to South and holding a 9-5 job in a totally new environment surrounded by different people. But this opportunity has helped clarify my future plans. I’ve met amazing people who are inspirational.”

Paulina Pawlak Year in industry working at BMW

Leeds Student Women’s Engineering Society (WES Leeds)

During her time at Leeds, Paulina was part of the Leeds Student Women’s Engineering Society. She said “As a member of the society, I participate in different events that Leeds Student Women’s Engineering Society organises. It helped me develop my networking and meet other women that are pursuing their degrees in Engineering or Computing.’

I believe knowing other women in Engineering and Computing helped me become more confident about myself, what can be very useful for my future degree/career. It also showed me how other women work as effectively in a stereotypically male-dominated field.”

Student life

You don’t have to spend a fortune, as in Leeds there are many places to discover, like Kirkstall and many beautiful parks.

Paulina Pawlak

There are a range of opportunities to get involved while studying at Leeds. Paulina said “I’ve had several part-time jobs, I was Secretary for the Women in Engineering Society, I attended various events, competitions, networking sessions, and took part in several volunteering opportunities. I won the `Marks & Spencer Future Needs your Vision` 2019 award and became a finalist of the `Volkswagen Inspire` competition and received a `Recognise Award` for my involvement in Leeds University Union. I secured a placement year with BMW as a Product Support Intern. Finally, in April 2020, I was elected as the President of the Women in Leadership society.”

She added “What I love about Leeds is its location – you can get to York and Manchester with discounted train fares. We also have an airport with really cheap connections to Ireland or Spain for example. You don’t have to spend a fortune, as in Leeds there are many places to discover, like Kirkstall and many beautiful parks.”

Looking forward 

Throughout your time with at Leeds our dedicated faculty Employability Team is here to support, guide and advise you on your next steps. We asked Paulina what her ambitions were once she’s graduated. She said “I’d like to develop the connection between robots and people, also to help them understand how computing can help us in day-to-day life. I believe we don’t have to be afraid of technology, including AI, and I’d like to focus on research in this area.

All the job fairs that University organises, as well as other societies and events that I have a chance to take part has really added to my student experience. The University of Leeds has an amazing Career Service, that is always very happy to help us. Also, the Faculty of Engineering has its own Employability team that is very helpful in checking CVs and covering letters.”

Advice and tips

We asked Paulina if she has any advice for woman considering a career in computing. She said “Just be open, try new things and never be scared of anything. Being a woman in engineering is great, as long as you’re confident and passionate about what you do. Explore, have fun and I can assure you – you’ll love it, computing is very interesting and gives you many opportunities.”

Find out more about our Computer Science degrees here.