- Course: MSc Engineering Management
- Year of graduation: 2021
- Job title: Consultant specialising in Digital Strategy and Project Management
What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career?
I have been considering continuing with education and the possibility of embarking on a PhD.
The course covered Artificial Intelligence in the Emerging and Disruptive technologies module and I had taken part in a group assignment relating to medical devices and the use of AI. Although much has been written about the use of AI in a clinical setting, I found that there was little available information about the benefits AI might bring within a healthcare management context. I discussed this as a possible topic for my final 6-month project and having gained ethical approval I worked with a hospital trust in the UK to carry out a piece of research in this area.
I found taking a deep dive into a topic particularly interesting and this together with encouragement from academic staff at the University has prompted me to consider further academic development.
What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?
I work for companies in the public sector in the UK, primarily healthcare. It is a long time since I worked in engineering and I work in digital environments where I specialise in strategy and project management.
I did wonder if the fact that I was not working as an engineer might be a disadvantage on the course but it soon became apparent that management issues across organisations are broadly the same.
I would say that as long as you meet the course pre-requisites in terms of engineering background (degree or experience) don’t worry if you are working in a different sector. A great part of the course is that there are so many students working in different industries across many countries. It makes for a great exchange of ideas during the weekly webinars and online discussion boards.
What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?
Although my initial career was in process engineering, I migrated into IT whilst working for Rolls-Royce and subsequently worked for an IT consultancy.
I found that having an engineering degree and experience was welcomed by clients and gave me an edge when competing for assignments, particularly with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
I have found the fact that I now have an MSc in Engineering Management from the University of Leeds is attractive to clients and I believe it has enhanced my C.V.
Why did you choose to study online? How did you find the experience of completing a degree off-campus?
I chose to study online as I felt it was more flexible and allowed me to study at times best suited to myself (often evenings and weekends).
It is a long time since I completed an on-campus degree and I might have felt rather out of place amongst lots of young students. I was not looking for the same sort of university experience that my son, for example, requires on his engineering course. I was focusing exclusively on learning rather than being interested in social activities offered on campus.
Having said that, there is plenty of opportunity to interact with students across the world and support each other. I have made some really good friends during my time on the course and it was great to meet up in person during the on-campus graduation.
Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?
Having taken time out to raise a family I was keen to update my skills and initially was looking towards an MBA but felt that a lot of these were too broad in terms of subject matter and covered topics irrelevant to my needs.
I liked the fact that fellow students were engineers and from sectors I could relate to.
Reviewing the course content, I was pleased to see that the lecturers had industrial experience which they drew upon to support the academic teaching. They could understand the management issues we, as students, needed to address and provided tools and techniques to facilitate resolution.
I was keen to obtain a qualification from a university with a good reputation. I reviewed league tables and noted that the University of Leeds scored very well in its engineering disciplines. The admission process was thorough and gave me confidence that the calibre of students would be strong, which was indeed the case.
What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why? Any highlights?
The course content and its delivery was particularly strong. It is obvious that a lot of effort has been put into creating an engaging and interactive learning experience and the digital format bring benefits that would be hard to replicate on-campus. For example, many experts from across the globe provided insights into their careers and shared their learning.
The calibre of the lecturers was very high. They passed on their knowledge enthusiastically whilst at the same time allowing us to develop our own thinking.
Above all the learning experience was fun. Mention must be given to a simulation game we all took part in where we individually ran our own oil rig, balancing production and profit against safety. It became quite competitive.
What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds/thinking about the same career?
I would say don’t hesitate to do the course. It is excellent. Be prepared to work hard, contribute fully and you will be well rewarded.
When considering a course make sure you know how long it has been running. This course has now seen a number of cohorts graduate and is firmly established. It was created in advance of the Covid pandemic and isn’t a reaction to it.
The University of Leeds is a professional establishment which offers professional online courses in a secure and reliable environment. Well worth the financial and study time investment in my experience.