Jeremy talks to Southampton Connects about his experiences at Southampton and the Malaysia Campus, and how he landed his dream job.
I spent the first two years of my MEng degree at the Malaysia Campus and my final two years on the Highfield Campus in Southampton. I chose to study at the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus because of the low student-to-lecturer ratio, which encourages the two-way learning that is especially important for South-East Asian students – as we tend to be more quiet and passive learners.
My first year at the University was a real adjustment period; I realised that university is not school. There would be no more spoon-feeding of knowledge. However, the experience helped me to start taking responsibility for my own learning – studying from resources beyond the formal curriculum as well as becoming an independent critic of the course material and content. This work all paid off when I won a prestigious Lloyd’s Register Foundation scholarship for coming top in my year, which paid for my tuition fees. I also went on to win the same scholarship for the next two years of my studies.
When I moved to the UK in my third year, I was pretty scared of making new friends and how to fit in, but my time in the UK was the best experience of my life.
I enjoyed group assignments because I got to work with talented people from diverse cultures. We respected each other’s ideas, and we knew when one of us should take charge and when to listen to others.
While at Southampton, I was based in the Tizard Building (Building 13), which also houses the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, so I made friends with students from the acoustic courses. I also took advantage of the wide range of clubs and societies available and joined the Catholic Society. I made many more friends through this society, which became my second home, and I enjoyed participating in its events.
My final year was like a marathon, full of deadlines, including my dissertation thesis. I was very lucky to have two excellent supervisors – Professor Phil Joseph and Dr Michael Kingan – who were always there to help me, even when that meant having Skype calls after office hours.
When I had completed my dissertation, I felt I had done a full spectrum of my subject area and felt well prepared for my future.
During my course I undertook two summer internships at Dyson, which gave me an idea of what I wanted to do. These engineering experiences taught me more about teamwork and how to adapt in a fast-paced environment.
I applied for the mechanical engineering graduate scheme at Rolls-Royce in November last year. The University played an important role with my application – and I found out about Rolls-Royce through the Engineering Fair held by the University’s Career and Employability Services.
The application process was quite tough – it included an online application, a series of online tests and an assessment centre. Two days after the assessment centre, I was very pleased when the Rolls-Royce HR department contacted me to congratulate me on being ranked first of the 12 shortlisted candidates.
I’m now working as a control engineer at Rolls-Royce’s Birmingham office in the UK, where I am responsible for producing control systems for aircraft.
Studying at the University of Southampton was definitely the right decision for me. Through my experiences at the University, I discovered my passion for engineering and over the past four years I’ve made some lifelong friends who have helped me develop myself as a person.