"I have always been interested in the application of mathematics and new technologies, so I chose to study Chemical Engineering in order to see mathematical theory applied in real-life scenarios.
The facilities that Surrey offers are excellent. The newly refurbished Esso computer suite is extremely useful for group projects. The Hess Rig equipment gives students the chance to practice their skills as real-life engineers running a process unit.
Most lecturers also have an open door policy, meaning you can ask for advice about research, assignments and even careers whenever you need to.
Taking a Professional Training placement during my degree course helped me decide which industry I wanted to go into, after my studies, and enabled me to strengthen my technical skills, professionalism and networking ability. I chose ExxonMobil, the largest publicly trading oil and gas company in the world, because of the diverse opportunities it would offer and on the advice of one of my lecturers who had spent 25 years working for the organisation. In addition to helping ExxonMobil’s engineering business teams to run the refinery as efficiently and economically as possible, I also worked on a range of projects with other business groups, giving me a well-rounded experience of the company.
I learned many technical skills relating to my day-to-day tasks such as software development and visual basic code writing, I also learned a lot about professionalism and networking in the workplace, and got the chance to practice and improve my transferable skills by hosting various presentations and workshops.
Having successfully completed a challenging project with the company’s Plant Computing Group, I won the prestigious Fawley Refinery Recognition Award and was also offered a graduate job: proof that placements really work.
I would advise anyone studying Chemical Engineering to get as many relevant work experience opportunities – such as summer placements and Professional Training – as possible. Chemical engineers can go into a diverse range of fields, and work experience will help you to decide which industry and job role is the right one for you.
Surrey’s Professional Training year really helped me to make this decision and allowed me to pick up valuable skills which look great on my CV. The fact that it was on offer at Surrey definitely played a big part.
I have become more independent, with a hunger for further experience, travel and knowledge. I believe that Surrey has given me everything that I came to university hoping to achieve: life-long friendships, a solid degree and a graduate job in my industry of choice."