Rithika Venkatesan

"It was great experience studying and working here. The University shaped me into being a better engineer."

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

I was an exchange student and I had only a semester at the University of Plymouth. Hence I was not able to have a full-fledged experience of the state of art facilities here. If I were given a chance to start again, with the benefit of hindsight, I would enrol myself in a variety of societies. Over 100 one of a kind societies exist at the University of Plymouth. Also, I would use the fully loaded labs to the maximum potential.

What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? With hindsight how significant was this for you? 

I got a chance to work under a great professor in my field of interest. Hence I chose the University of Plymouth for my final year project. It was a great experience studying and working here. The University and the professor shaped me into being a better engineer. 

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the university how did they enable you to get to where you are today?

Plenty of resources are available at the University of Plymouth. As I was new to the domain in which I was working, I had to do a lot of research before starting. I used the library to the maximum. Sometimes I would stay there for more than ten hours straight. The services provided there are world class. I had access to more than one million journals and articles through the primo link. They also had an amazing selection of textbooks and all the PCs were updated with important software. 

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?

Before coming to Plymouth, I was unsure about continuing my studies. I had decided to work but coming to Plymouth made me realise there is still a lot to achieve before becoming a good engineer and also studying can be fun.

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth? 

There are many actually! Some are simply spending those late nights in the labs. My friends and I would joke around yet complete the task, it sure made programming interesting. Another important memory was the project open day. It was very rewarding when all the hard work was appreciated by important industrialists. I also had an amazing time attending the Latin dance classes organised by UPSU. It was a great place for socialising. 

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career? 

Plymouth gave me a rounded experience of college life. It taught me how to manage time, complete tasks within the deadline, how to cope up with stress, multitask, etc. while having enough fun. It meliorated my organisational, presentational and writing skills. I gained a well-versed knowledge in different aspects of technology which would be useful for any industry I land on.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth?

The University offers some of the UK's best courses and lectures taught by well-renowned staff. The people here are extremely friendly and outgoing. It is a great place especially for someone like me who thinks extracurricular is as important as academics. And as a bonus, it is located in the city centre where everything is within walking distance. To conclude, I have already recommended the University of Plymouth to many of my Indian friends because I am sure it will provide them with the wisdom they need to survive in the UK engineering industry, as it did to me.

What will your next move (job or further study) be after graduation?

After graduating, I will be continuing with studies. I want to get an MSc degree and pursue a PhD. I am sure there is a lot left to learn before entering the industry. 

If you are an international student, how did we help you to get used to living and studying in the UK?

Coming from India, I faced a huge culture shock. But that faded away very fast. The University's International Student's Association conducted many events and tours to different places around Plymouth. I attended a few of them. This helped me in knowing about the culture in England and making new friends.