Melissa Hartmann

Melissa Hartmann

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

I was initially drawn to the University of Leeds due to its prestigious reputation in engineering and because some of my secondary school teachers had taught or studied here. It was not until I learned about the combination of a rigorous curriculum, the support from the LUU with the vast number of opportunities, and the ambitious atmosphere that made me certain I wanted to be part of Leeds Uni community.

Why did you choose this particular course?

In school I enjoyed academic life and was particularly passionate about my higher-level subjects; mathematics and physics. The topics I enjoyed the most were electricity and magnetism in the IB program and I found it so fascinating I knew I wanted to learn more about it and further develop it in university. Engineering was a course I was interested in also because of the flexibility it has in job opportunities, especially if I would want to go back to Peru after completing the degree.

I chose electrical and electronic engineering because it extends from nano-scale designs to large-scale electrical systems, having transformed modern technology in just a few generations with its overwhelming applicability in daily life. It is a course focused on technology and nowadays innovation that will allow me to be creative and exposed to new ideas as well as allow me to take many challenging and rewarding problem-solving opportunities that can benefit people’s lives, contribute to solving current demands, and contribute in the advances of modern technology, which I am looking forward to being a part of.

What have been the best aspects of studying your course, and why?

I am more than grateful to have the opportunity to work with a distinguished faculty, passionate students and get the support and facilities needed to enhance my learning experience. I particularly like the pedagogic approaches in learning because we are given a variety of learning methods that allow us to use and develop what we are taught in an effective manner. These range from lectures, projects, laboratory sessions, meetings with our personal tutor to make the learning more personalised, catch-up sessions, example classes and large numbers of resources to further explore a topic. It is beneficial in providing the knowledge and soft skills required in a work context, as well as in encouraging active learning and team-building.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed on your course.

The highlight project of my first year in the course would have to be the Buggy project for my module in Circuit Analysis and Design (ELEC1130). It consisted in building a remote-control car in a group of five with an onboard control system, which we designed and built the circuit in parts and then assembled the pieces and managed to function successfully. This second year I am looking forward to completing the Embedded Systems Project module (ELEC2645), which consists in programming a retro arcade-classic style game in a battery-powered gamepad. I particularly enjoy project-based learning because it allows me to apply what we learn in a more creative way and challenges us to actively research more profoundly on the module.

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds is one of the largest student cities in the UK and what I particularly like about it is the structure of the city with the universities. This is because despite it being large, it is small enough to have a sense of student community. It is also a vibrant city with lots of events going on every day and opportunities to engage in activities with a variety of international students, as well as local citizens which is ideal for a foreign student like myself. These range from having an Otley run experience in the multiple pubs and bars, different themed nightclubs, local and international weekly gigs, art exhibitions, group jogs or Leeds Marathon, kilo vintage clothes sales and free screenings or feasts in different venues.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Having an altruistic interest in engineering, I want to be able to impact other’s lives positively. I look forward to becoming a well-rounded individual who is both academically ambitious and judicious. I have particularly enjoyed working on the programming and communications modules and would like to do a placement year in either sector to gain more experience and clarity as to what I want to focus on in the distant future.

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

Throughout the course, I have been involved in activities that are preparing me with the knowledge and technical skills that I will need in becoming a well-rounded engineer. I have also found extra-curricular opportunities here in Leeds extremely beneficial in developing soft-skills required in a work context such as participating in MEDx, using the language exchange program and being a coordinator in the LUU’s HOMED society to support the homeless community. I have also managed to practice my English and get to know and work with people from different nationalities, which was one of my motivations to study abroad.

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

To have set goals in mind. Being rational at nature, there is nothing more helpful to me than to clearly understand the purpose of most things I do in order for me to enjoy what I am doing. Having a clear idea of what you want gives you a purpose and encourages you to take as many opportunities a lot of people miss out especially in first-year. Get involved as much as you can with the resources provided by getting in touch with the staff, trying multidisciplinary activities such as MEDX, volunteering to work within the faculty, becoming a student member of the IET to keep updated in current affairs or by joining the ShockSoc society. The more involved you get, the more of an active learner you become and the more you surround yourself with people with the same passion as yours.