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Essay On Why I Want To Be An Engineer

Last Sunday I realized, again and more fully than ever, why I want to immerse myself in engineering. I awoke in the midmorning, still drifting yet well-rested. In those dreamlike moments before opening my eyes, fragments of thought, old and new, began to coalesce into ideas that I immediately felt an urge to implement. First, I mused, it would be interesting to write an RSA encryptor (the same sort of computer program that makes credit card data secure online) in the scientific programming language Mathematica, and then see how Mathematica's algorithms and our school's parallel computer would fare at cracking the keys. As I lay still, the practical details of its implementation unfolded in my quietly fascinated mind. My thoughts continued to branch.

Presently, my awareness turned to the micro-architecture of the computer chip I had developed for the Intel Science Talent Search. I considered for a moment, and began to work out new, more efficient logic. The Verilog code for a more powerful design was at the tips of my fingers, when suddenly I realized, somewhat dejectedly, that I should instead get up and finish my art history homework and revise my college essays. It was then, I saw, that although I deeply enjoy these non-engineering activities -- art history is one of my favorite classes and college essays are both fun and revelatory -- they are distinctly secondary to what I love most: that is, conceiving and carrying out scientific projects.

Lying in bed and suddenly finding myself infused with a desire to go and build something last Sunday reminded me of the effortless, exulted inspiration that had, since elementary school frequently blazed up in my rested mind. It was this intense passion for discovery and creation that had over the years driven me to build robots, conceive biology experiments, and craft algorithms for naught but the sheer excitement and wonder of the experience. Now, as the day grows late, I want to again coax flames from these potent embers I have discovered to yet glow hot within. Studying science and engineering will encourage and empower me to do this more deeply than ever before.

At Duke specifically, I would be surrounded by many of the world's top thinkers and innovators, both expert and student, and this amazing camaraderie would inspire me to greater invention. Even beyond this, Duke is special among research institutions for its lengthy track record of developing paradigm-bending innovations. What I've been most impressed with is the school's willingness to push the limits of what humans believe possible: metamaterial "invisibility cloaks," ultrasound imaging, microfluidic systems, and smart materials are but some of the "straight-out-of-science-fiction" developments to have come from Pratt. Duke researchers not only proved these once-unimaginable concepts possible, but in the process of doing so have developed entirely new fields of technology that are now influencing everything from the way we build microchips to how we assay biosamples. This mentality -- that limiting preconceptions can and should be broken -- is something that I cannot resist wanting to be a part of.

To me, there is no feeling more electrifying than that which comes from gazing through my closed eyelids into an untouched glen of new knowledge, and then from its fruits, creating something previously believed impossible. That is the root of my fascination with science, that is why I wish to study engineering, that is why I want to go to Duke.

Smith, John. "Engineering Essay" Study Notes, LLC., 21 Sep. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2018. <>.

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When I grow up I want to be…an engineer

When you were little, did you love Lego? Were you always curious and ‘hands-on’ as a child? Well, looks like you were showing early signs of being perfect for a career in engineering!

If you like the sound of a career that is full of variety and requires innovative thinking, but also requires skill and logic, this career could be the one for you. You’re not alone – 32% of all graduate vacancies at leading UK Employers in 2013 were engineering roles.

The great thing about engineering as an industry is that there is so much variety – no matter your interests or strengths, there’s most likely a branch of engineering that will be a perfect match for you.

Hold up a sec….how do I get into this business?

Explore degrees relevant to engineering

There are number of specific degree areas that fall under the umbrella of ‘engineering’, so it’s up to you to choose the course that will interest you the most. Typical relevant degree areas include:

For any of you who aren’t keen on going to university to study for a degree in engineering, there are a number of other routes to your dream career, including apprenticeships and vocational schemes.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that engineering graduates could earn around £243,730 more over their working life compared to those who begin work straight after A-levels.

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical and electronic engineering
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Mechanical engineering

For any of you who aren’t keen on going to university to study for a degree in engineering, there are a number of other routes to your dream career, including apprenticeships and vocational schemes.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that engineering graduates could earn around £243,730 more over their working life compared to those who begin work straight after A-levels.

Excellent societies for engineering

Engineering is an industry that is likely to heavily involve team work. You can get to know other engineers at your university by joining the engineering societies.

Luckily, these are normally very large societies, so not only will you network with other engineers, hopefully there should be some awesome socials for you to attend!

In order to enhance your teamwork and leadership skills, put yourself forward for President/Vice President/Treasurer positions within the engineering society. If you can, join other non-engineering societies to learn an additional extra-curricular skill, whether this be martial arts or maybe even the knitting society (whatever floats your boat!), this will be beneficial in giving you experience outside of the engineering-bubble. Anything that demonstrates your practical problem solving skills will be a bonus.

Finally, if you’ve still got some time to play with, many university engineering departments run extra-curricular engineering projects that you can get involved in. This will put you ahead of the competition, as you will have shown an interest in your subject area outside of your studies.

Experience with top engineering companies

The top employers for engineering graduates will offer work experience to you during your time at university – there are lots of opportunities to take on placements and internships, but what is on offer varies between companies.

Work experience is invaluable, offering you a direct insight into your future career and helping you decide if it’s right for you.

Some of the top employers for graduates looking to become engineers are…drum roll please!:

  • Rolls-Royce
  • ​Airbus
  • BAE Systems
  • BMW
  • Siemens
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Network Rail

Before pplying to engineering placements, don't forget to do through research into both the industry and the company - they will test you very thoroughly on your knowledge, so be prepared.