Civil Engineering Personal Statement
Modern life is almost wholly dependent on engineering. It is everywhere and it is always changing, and it is this in particular which attracts me to civil engineering. I hope that in this field I can combine my knowledge and skills in physics and maths, two subjects which particularly interest me, and also work in an area which is both diverse and exciting.
I am attracted to the prospect of a job which enables me to shape the world around me for the future and make a difference to people’s lives. Whilst I anticipate a challenging and demanding career, I also expect it to be very rewarding, especially when I can see projects I have worked on being built from start to completion.
I first encountered civil engineering during work experience with a local firm in October 2003. Whilst there, I was inspired by the opportunity to apply my existing skills to real-life problems, and as a result decided to participate in the Engineering Education Scheme.
As part of a team of five, I worked closely with qualified engineers on a railway embankment stabilisation project, and relished the chance to become fully involved in an actual engineering problem from start to finish. I experienced project management and report writing and gained invaluable team-working, time-management and presentation skills, producing a report which was commended by a number of senior engineers.
Following this I attended a Headstart course at Heriot Watt University, and also visited Fairfield Mabey, where I saw ongoing work on various bridges, both in the design office and on site. During the summer I was interviewed by Costain and subsequently offered a Building Awareness Sixth Form Scholarship for my academic achievements and keen interest in civil engineering.
In March 2004 I was one of thirty students selected to participate in a five-day maths and physics event at Oxford University, and this Easter I also attended a maths course at Leeds University. At both of these I enjoyed developing my problem-solving ability and adapting my knowledge to new and challenging situations beyond the scope of my schoolwork.
At Leeds I found I was not attracted to the more theoretical approach of studying maths and preferred problems relating to real-life situations, particularly a lecture on the instability of London’s Millennium Bridge, and I hope that this is something I can continue to enjoy throughout my engineering career.
I am currently working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, in which I particularly enjoy the challenge of planning and undertaking the expeditions, and the sense of achievement afterwards.
As part of the award I have set-up and run my school’s first sixth form netball team, further utilising my team-working and organisational skills. I am working towards the European Computer Driving Licence in order to extend my IT skills, and I am also a Young Leader at a local Guide Unit, where I enjoy working with the girls and motivating them to acquire new skills.
Last October I was one of twenty Guides and Scouts who participated in the 12th International Space Olympics in Moscow, achieving one of the highest non-Russian scores in the competition’s history. This involved exams and a group presentation, and through research and preparation for these I was able to extend my knowledge of maths and physics into new, more advanced areas.
Through my experiences I am already beginning to appreciate the diversity which civil engineering will offer, and I hope to build on this by securing a work placement next summer as well as sponsorship for my degree. I have enjoyed my time at school and now look forward to the challenge of university and to a varied and exciting career in civil engineering.
This personal statement was written by lisa_2k for application in 2006.
lisa_2k's university choices
The University of Durham
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
The University of Warwick
The University of Nottingham
The University of Manchester
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
MEng Engineering at Cambridge University
Used this PS to apply for 3 civil engineering courses and 3 general ones. Must have worked cos I came out with 6 offers