Student Stories

From Malaysia to Warwick: My Journey as a Female Engineering Student

Joelle shares the different ways that University of Warwick has helped her realise her potential.

Joelle Tan
Studied in University of Warwick BEng Engineering

Experiencing the transition of moving to a new country and starting a new phase of life from teenage years to adulthood was very daunting, but I am very grateful I came to the University of Warwick.

During my time here, I discovered that engineering is indeed the right course for me. Classes have been fascinating, interesting, and engaging despite the heavy workload. Starting off in a general course allowed me to gain an understanding of concepts from different streams of engineering. The numerous group projects provided valuable practice in teamwork and good preparation for the working world.

I really appreciate the fact that lecturers respond to queries quickly and are enthusiastic about discussing their areas of expertise when asked. Additionally, the department always made an effort to act on feedback we gave, whether it related to modules, facilities, or the course. They encourage pursuing your own interests with facilities like the Engineering Buildspace, where you can make personal projects and be trained on the available equipment, a bit like an engineer’s playground 🙂 I managed to practise using CAD to design and 3D print items, which was incredibly cool. I have definitely grown in my understanding of technical concepts and professional skills, which will help me in my engineering career.

A highlight of my university experience was being part of the Warwick Malaysian Students Association (WMSA) Mnight 2022 production as a member of the tech team. Working on an amazing, completely student-run musical and sharing Malaysian culture with others was a truly enriching experience. I also enjoyed attending and helping out at the International Café run by the Christian Union, where we learned about and tasted food from different cultures every week while meeting new people from all around the world.

Being part of a network of engineers through my course and various engineering societies has been invaluable. I had the privilege of being part of the executive team of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), where we worked on sustainability-focused projects and outreach to children in primary schools. As a member of Warwick Women in Engineering and Science (WWES), I was inspired by speakers who shared their journeys. The Warwick Engineering Society helped develop my knowledge about companies and provided resources for branching into the professional world, something I had barely encountered before university. Last year, I joined the Warwick Hyperloop Team to design and manufacture a levitating pod for transportation. Just having the opportunity to be part of an actual project was fascinating, and I learned so much.

Overall, my journey at Warwick has been a rollercoaster ride of rigorous coursework, personal growth, and unforgettable memories. I’ve been able to participate in a wide range of experiences both within and outside of my degree, and I can confidently say I have grown to be more prepared to face the working world. Warwick has taught me to step out of my comfort zone, try new things, and meet new people. I am incredibly thankful to be a Warwick student, and I cherish the personal and academic growth I’ve experienced here and the long-lasting friendships I’ve made.

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