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20 minutes with... Aryaa Desai

21st June 2021

Despite the challenges of remote learning, Aryaa has managed to make the first year at university both productive and enjoyable and has even been busy building a wind turbine this last term!

Working remotely meant that much of her time was spent listening to lectures. “In the beginning I did have the chance to see some labs, but all the lectures were online. Luckily I guess, during the exams when I was in the library, I met my fellow coursemates and have now made friends.”

Getting a place at Imperial College was not easy; a world-class university whose aim is for society to benefit through excellence in science, engineering, medicine and business, Aryaa had to work hard in order to secure a place.

“I always wanted to push myself academically and so with some research, I found that for engineering, Imperial was really good. I went onto the website and looked at the course and their modules and then researched some more, which further confirmed my interest in the subject. The application process consisted of a maths test, a physics test and an interview, for which I had to go onto campus. My Sixth Form teachers at St Margaret’s really helped me with plenty of practice interviews. Sessions with my physics teacher were very useful as I was advised how to come across in an interview, I found that really helpful. I got an interview in the early autumn and then my offer 3 weeks after that.”

Overall the workload is “quite a lot” but Aryaa has been passionate about aeronautical engineering for a long time.

“If you enjoy what you are doing, and you see people around you who are passionate about what they are studying and also enjoy what they are doing, then you also feel more motivated”

A typical day for Aryaa begins with lectures at 9am and finishes around 6pm. Some lectures can be “2 hours long”, but there is respite on Wednesday afternoons when there is the opportunity to take part in sports. She enjoys living in London where she feels that you get to “meet people from all cultural backgrounds.”

And if Aryaa had any advice for others hoping to follow in her footsteps into a career in engineering it would be “Don’t feel discouraged that this is conventionally a male dominated field, the key in engineering is to be unique.”

Her ultimate aim is to work in a space related field in the future and she hopes that her current degree will be the stepping-stone towards that. She has lovely intentions and says “Engineers tend to work globally, because of the nature of the job. I hope to be able to gain a lot of experience in different countries and help make this world a better place.”

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