Student Stories

From Uncertainty to Achievement

A Humble Journey Through Education And Beyond

Siti Ameera Liana Ahmad Kamal
Studied in University of Edinburgh BEng (Hons) in Electronics & Electrical Engineering

I remember the years 2017 and 2018, a time when I was working hard on my personal statement (PS) for my UCAS application. Even though I was 19 years old, I wasn’t quite sure how to write an essay that really showed who I was. Honestly, it felt a bit strange to talk about my achievements and try to get into top universities.

I wondered about what to put in my statement. Should I mention my role as a part-time secretary in a society that didn’t meet often? Or maybe I could talk about how I loved science and math because I won a math competition two years earlier? Despite my doubts, I managed to write a draft of the PS, although my English wasn’t perfect. Luckily, my college helped out by setting up appointments with MABECS to look over our PS drafts. They didn’t just fix my grammar – they also encouraged me to think deeply about my past experiences and pick the ones that matched best with the degree and universities I wanted.

Skipping ahead a bit, I got offers from four out of five universities I applied to through UCAS.

In the end, I chose the University of Edinburgh (UoE) for my BEng (Hons) in Electronics & Electrical Engineering, and I’m really glad I did. Looking back, my time at Edinburgh was like a journey that’s forever a part of me. It changed me in ways I didn’t expect. Even the small things, like being a society secretary or winning a math competition, turned out to be important steps in my growth.

As I went through university, I started to challenge myself more. I became the Vice President of the Edinburgh Malaysian Student Society (EMSA), and that made a big difference in my experience. Studying in the UK was nice, but there’s a special feeling when you’re with people from your home country.

Then COVID-19 happened, and everything went online. Funny enough, that’s when I got better at managing my time. The university used Microsoft software to help us out, and they were really understanding about extensions and helping students with problems.

If you need some extra money, consider a part-time job at the university. That’s what I did, and it turned out to be great. I became an EdHelp Assistant and it was my first “real” job. The pay was good, but what mattered more was that my manager and co-workers were really supportive.

Let’s be real, the UoE syllabus wasn’t easy. I had challenges and struggled for good grades. Luckily, my friends and lecturers were there for me the whole way. One thing I’d say is to always be prepared. Read before lectures, start assignments early, and go to meetings with professors with questions. It really helps.

Getting the 4th Class Medal was a surprise. It’s for the top student in my class, recognizing the best marks that year. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it when I heard. While the medal is accessible to any student in my class, I had never fathomed it within my grasp. Yet, my gratitude extends to my friends and lecturers, who were instrumental in my journey. I think the main reason I received the medal was due to my final year project thesis. I spent hours on completing my thesis, I asked for feedback from anyone I could think of, my lecturers, my peers, and my parents.

My memories of Edinburgh are all about friends and good times. Our evenings filed with frisbee and basketball games, and we’d lose ourselves in board games and puzzles until dawn. We would celebrate festivals and cook together as a group. I also cherished the moments when I wandered around the city alone, finding solace and stress relief in those walks. These experiences might be typical, but they are what made my life in Edinburgh more fulfilling.

After I graduated, I started my journey at Petronas MLNG in Bintulu as an electrical engineer for a short but enriching four months. I had the chance to learn and build connections with my colleagues. Then, I moved on to Ørsted, a company focuses on renewable energy. Right now, I’m working there as an electrical & instrumentation engineer. I feel thankful for this opportunity and I’m eager to learn more. Exciting times are ahead as I’ll be heading to Denmark for an eight-month training starting this September.

Looking back, my time at the University of Edinburgh was a story of determination, transformation, and wavering resilience. From struggling with my personal statement to taking on leadership roles and dealing with COVID-19, each step made me stronger. With my friends & family supporting me, and each achievement I reached, my time at Edinburgh was special. This journey shows that even small steps can lead to big things.

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