"Being at such an international University with people from all walks of life has taught me so much about my future and what I might want to do with my life. Talking to students on different courses and in my Programme is a great way to hear about the different options out there."
Rachel Wilcox, second year Electrical and Electronics Engineering student.
Rachel Wilcox is a second year Electrical Engineering student here in the School of Engineering. We spoke to Rachel about what inspired her to get into engineering, why she chose Edinburgh, and where she hopes her subject will take her in future.
Tell us about your studies at the School of Engineering.
I am currently a second year Electronics and Electrical Engineering student. The current courses that I am studying are maths for engineering, microelectronics, analogue circuits, engineering software, and industrial management. Maths is definitely my favourite course.
I’ve always been a maths person, and I especially love this class because, as we are learning the different concepts, we’re also learning about how they tie into our engineering courses. This makes the class much more enjoyable, as it helps us understand the reasons behind what we are learning and how we will be able to use what we learn in the future.
The industrial management module is also great, because it incorporates the business side of engineering. It is broken down into four course modules: economics, marketing, accounting, and human resources.
What inspired you to get into engineering?
There are so many aspects to engineering. I personally see myself going into a more financial or business-related field rather than a purely engineering one. This is why I find the industrial management course so interesting.
The other courses are very engineering-orientated. Analogue circuits is about learning the basics of how circuits work. Engineering software is teaching us how to program in C. Even though coding is not my best subject, it’s great to learn how to code, and is definitely a useful skill for my future. Microelectronics is all about breaking down semiconductors and learning what makes them work. I’ve never really thought about the process that goes into making electronics but I find it all very fascinating.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh?
I’m from Florida, in the USA. In the USA, we have so many amazing universities and it’s not that common that anyone really discusses or encourages students to go abroad for university. However, when I was 16, I spent a year in Poland as an exchange student. The experience made me realize that there are so many different options out there, so I started to research universities in the UK.
I really loved the program that the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh offered. I also loved the city. Growing up in a small town, I thought Edinburgh was the perfect size, and I really love all the cultural opportunities the city has to offer.
What are your career aspirations?
I’m still not really sure what I want to do when I graduate. This is the main reason I chose electrical engineering; it’s such a broad field, with many options.
I know I’ll be able to find a career path that suits me. Right now, I’m leaning towards industry. I think it would be amazing to work for a big company, especially an international one, where I could travel for work and experience the many different sides of engineering.
What do you enjoy most about being a student at the School of Engineering?
Being at such an international University with people from all walks of life has taught me so much about my future and what I might want to do with my life. Talking to students in different courses and in my program is a great way to hear about the different options out there.
I love the plethora of academic and non-academic societies at the University, because it’s given me the opportunity to try so many things and figure out what I love and what I don’t enjoy. The career fairs are great, and allow me to gather more information and talk to people in different fields.