Katherine Page-Bailey – current MEng (Hons) Robotics student

"Completing the placement year at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and seeing the different areas where students studying similar degrees worked within the same company has given me more of an idea of which areas I would like to explore further and potentially specialise in."

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

The area I struggled with most over the course of degree has been programming, in hindsight I would focus on spending more time building up a good foundation before starting the course, and over holidays I would spend more time reinforcing that skill.


What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? With hindsight how significant was this for you (e.g. the course was accredited, offered a work placement or additional Masters year, location was key)? 

My main reason for studying at Plymouth was the location. Being at a university with a campus so close to the city centre was very convenient. Another reason was how welcoming Plymouth University felt. When visiting on open days, the student ambassadors in the labs were always happy to talk and only ever had good things to say about their experience with Plymouth University.


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 (e.g. careers and employability service, library service, LabPlus, counselling, learning development service, PALS)?

The Robotics course has a large open lab and a handful of smaller labs, provided there is space, it is possible to work in these labs outside of timetables hours. This is very helpful as it means you are able to complete practical work within your own time without having to purchase the equipment or software that would be needed to complete the work at home.


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

I hadn’t given as much thought as I should have into what I wanted to do after completing my degree when I started university, so when the time came to consider placements I was out of my depth. Attending the placement lectures in which various companies, alumni and returning placement students spoke about the different roles they performed helped me to discover which kinds of roles were available and narrow down roughly what I wanted to do. Since then I have taken elements that I have enjoyed, both from the course and my placement experience, to form a more robust career plan.


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

I honestly don’t know where to start for picking just one favourite memory of Plymouth University. During my time at Plymouth I have met loads of interesting people and have had an assortment of enjoyable experiences from being a PALS leader to being on committees for societies and being a student ambassador.


Why would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University?

I would recommend Plymouth University for a number of reasons, the practical hands-on learning, the support available to aid studying from the lecturers, but also services such as PALS and SUM:UP. The support available from the Placements Team and the Careers and Employability Service is invaluable when searching and applying to placements and graduate jobs, or more general work on creating/improving a CV. 

There is also a wide variety of sports and societies that can be joined for a more social university experience, I would recommend the Women’s Engineering Society!


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

Since completing the BEng course, I have started on the MEng year, during the course of this year I will also be applying for Grad Schemes which I hope to start after completing the Masters year.


If you did a placement how did this impact on your short and long term career plans?

When starting the course, I was very unsure about what my plan would be for after graduation, I knew that Robotics was a large field but I hadn’t fully appreciated the wide range of opportunities until I started searching for a placement. Completing the placement year at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and seeing the different areas where students studying similar degrees worked within the same company has given me more of an idea of which areas I would like to explore further and potentially specialise in.