- Course: Medical Engineering MEng, BEng
- Year of graduation: 2022
Martha Hayward chose to study Medical Engineering MEng, BEng at Leeds after visiting an applicant day. “It sounds cheesy but a big part of it is the feeling. When I visited the University on my applicant day, I felt so welcomed by the whole faculty. The existing students seemed to genuinely enjoy their course and the staff were excited to share their knowledge with you.” She said thinking back about her experience. “The University has its own distinct campus but it is right next to the city centre which means you feel really in touch with the city but you still have that student community.”
Martha added, “The best aspect of my course was all of the group work we got to do and the direct interaction I got to have with hospitals and other industries due to the type of research happening. For example, my third year project was about shoulder replacements and through the connections of the department to the hospital in Chapel Allerton, I was able to go and watch a shoulder replacement surgery take place!”
The best aspect of my course was all of the group work we got to do and the direct interaction I got to have with hospitals and other industries due to the type of research happening.
Starting university can be daunting for everyone, however, this is easily overcome by talking to friends, and family and trying something new. Martha said “Before attending university, I was nervous about making new friends and putting myself out there. However, because of the vast number of societies and the contact hours of my course, I found it really easy to meet people and make some amazing friends.”
because of the vast number of societies and the contact hours of my course, I found it really easy to meet people and make some amazing friends.
Remembering some of the stimulating projects throughout her time at Leeds, Martha commented “As I mentioned before, my third year project was really exciting because I got to watch a live shoulder replacement surgery. But not to be ignored were the smaller design and manufacture projects in the first and second years that allowed my coursemates to work as a team and apply the theory we had been learning to a real application, such as designing and building an automated buggy!”
Working in industry
Between Martha’s third and fourth years, she completed an industrial placement year with GSK, a global pharmaceutical company. “Without a doubt this year was the most valuable thing I could have done and the employability team in the school helped me to secure it, by checking my CV and helping me with practice assessment centres.”
She added “When I applied for my graduate role they also helped me out by providing a space for me to carry out my assessment centre virtually. My placement year helped me build confidence in my skills as an engineer and taught me how to work with a team and changed my approach to problem-solving. I would highly recommend that if you can you should try and do a placement year, I originally had no interest in doing one but I am so glad I changed my mind.”
In her role at GSK, Martha worked as a Mechanical Engineer on one of their primary manufacturing sites in Montrose, Scotland. She said “As this was during covid I was considered a key worker as we manufactured medication. This meant I was able to be on-site every day which gave me invaluable hands-on experience. From the beginning, I was given a lot of independence which was daunting but it helped my confidence and made me a much stronger engineer in my final year. I also received an award for ‘Going above and beyond’ from the employability team, nominated by my manager for fundraising work I did while on my placement.”
Life outside the classroom
During her time at Leeds Martha was a member of the Swimming and Waterpolo society from her first year, she said “through socials and training for swimming I made some of my closest friends. I also worked part-time at the student union which was also great for meeting other students and earning some money along time my studies!”
After graduating Martha will be rejoining GSK on their three-year graduate scheme as a Mechanical Engineer which she is very excited about.
For anyone thinking about studying Medical Engineering at Leeds, Martha advised “I would say not to worry about the workload too much, as long as you are organised and keep on top of it then it is entirely manageable. Also, take advantage of all the free opportunities and expertise around you!”
take advantage of all the free opportunities and expertise around you!
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