After contemplating what career path was best suited to my skill set, I came across a video showing the problems with the world today which left an imprint in my mind. I wanted to help make a difference, no matter how little. After researching Chemical Engineering I realised it is an industry based on improving the world, with energy efficiency as one of its mains goals. After further research, my mind dived into the possibilities of human endeavour and how it was possible to create something of significant value out of raw materials.
Topics such as utilisation of carbon or systems-thinking left me in fascination with many questions left unanswered. Eventually I began reading further into thermodynamics, and I came across a thesis written by David MacKay and I can now see that preventing climate chaos will require sophisticated social, economic and technological choices. This, intertwined with how it takes the fundamentals of chemistry and perfectly weaves them into the world around us to mold a variety solutions is what I believe separates the field from all other branches of Science and Engineering. This provided me with a solid foundation of understanding the complex issues of energy supply and use. Additionally, after undertaking work experience at a pharmacy I was able to see the other side of chemistry and how it affects the real world. I witnessed first hand the positive impact it had on people’s lives. This placement tested my teamwork and tenacity. Having to work with other pupils at the same pharmacy showed my ability to manage time and work together to achieve a common goal; something which chemical engineers are doing on a day to day basis. Also, I was seen to be punctual and attentive, as the pharmacy didn’t accept anything less.
The subjects I currently study challenge the depths of knowledge and have real life applicability, a key element of chemical engineering. Studying Maths has further developed my problem solving abilities, something necessary in the repertoire of any engineer. I have always been passionate about Chemistry as it allows me to appreciate life on an atomic scale whilst at the same time not losing sight of the bigger picture. I am very fond of the subject and in my later years of secondary education I was a student mentor, staying after school 3 days a week to help the lower years. This was a rewarding but challenging task which has enabled me to develop an array of skills such as explaining scientific problems in layman terms and this drastically improves my own understanding; something I may need on a Chem Eng course.
Business was a subject that was completely different to the other two, being less theory based and heavily involving the ever-changing world around us. I learned how to take calculated risks, as well as different types of problems which may arise that are directly linked with Chem Eng such as how the overuse of fuels will affect the economy, as well strategic ways to lower costs of manufacturing and obtaining these materials. I believe this mix of subjects have given me many skills which I could apply and further develop in the engineering field. It is essential to find a work-life balance in order to be productive so I participate in sports teams regularly for both college and outside, as well as being a manager for a local football team. This has displayed my reliability and competitive drive. It also further highlights my commitment and ability to overcome tactical adversity which could be key in solving the problem that arise within this degree. Also, this shows that I can work as a component of a team, but can also show leadership when necessary.
Chemical engineering is an exciting field which I feel I am ready to study. I believe my experiences and passion provide me with an array of skills that would make me suited to overcome any challenges that come along with studying it and I look forward to contributing my ideas and thoughts to this ever-changing field.