Hello reader! I am Aditi Reddy, first-year Electronics and Communications Engineering student.
When I decided that I will be studying in University of Sheffield I promised myself to make most out of it. I started my journey with a huge empty bag on my shoulders and looking for beautiful experiences to fill it with. Some of the most amazing experiences that went into my bag were with ‘Women in Engineering’ society.
My journey with this society started at the activities fair where all the societies had their stalls and people were signing up for the societies they were interested in. To be completely honest, I went in with a blank mind. Saw this society, signed up and back then I had no idea what I was signing up for. The first event I attended was the Welcome social where I met a lot of female engineers from different courses. First year representatives were to be elected on that day and within a few minutes of interaction with the committee members I knew I wanted to be a part of the committee. I ran for the role and got it! After attending my first committee meeting, I understood that the goals of our society are to raise awareness about engineering among young girls, inspire them to pursue it and to improve the employability of present engineering students. Knowing that I am a first-year student and I could be a part of something so big felt unreal.
The first event I was a part of was a panel event with Pamela Liversidge (first woman President of IMechE) as the keynote speaker. After the event I was so pumped up with inspiration and motivation that I feel like I am still carrying it all with me. After that I was a part of 2 outreach events where I had the opportunity to talk to young children about my branch of engineering and how engineers take consideration of health and safety of consumers while designing. I also told them how engineers take responsibility of the work they do. I worked on open day at the societies stall which was another rewarding experience as I got to know the apprehensions teenage girls had about engineering. I was able to make them aware of how being a female engineer is not as intimidating as it appears. A lot of the people walked out with more awareness on the available options. Being able to help people make the right choice made me realise how happy I am with the choices I had made.
My involvement with the society gave me some amazing sources of inspiration. I got a mentor as a part of our Big sister Little sister scheme, who, over the passage of time literally became my big sister and guided me through some of the stressful moments of my first year. I also had the opportunity to interact with people in industry. Talking to them has given me a fair idea of what employers look for. This knowledge will be very useful for anyone who is applying for internships or placements.
This academic year almost came to an end, so did my time as the first-year representative. I did not want to leave the committee though. In fact, I wanted to take up a bigger responsibility in the next academic year. So, I ran for the role of Vice-President this year and I got elected! Let’s see what kind of adventures are waiting for me next year.
We celebrated the end of this eventful year with our End of Year Networking Ball. On that day, I laughed so much that my cheeks hurt, danced so much that my feet hurt and felt sad about this beautiful year ending. But then I realized it was a beginning of another beautiful year for us.
P.S : Our yearlong effort was rewarded in the form on an award from National Union of Students for being the ‘Best Academic Society’.