Meet Muhammad Ahmad Waris from Pakistan, who studied the International Foundation in Engineering and Science with INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester and progressed to study Chemical Engineering at The University of Manchester.
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
A UK degree is a great boost on the CV and is highly recognised and appreciated by employers all around the world. The UK has a multi cultural society which meant that I had a chance to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures.
What do you think you’ve gained from studying abroad?
I have gained a lot from studying in the UK. First and foremost, I have gained a Masters of Engineering degree with one year’s industrial experience. The learning experience has been fantastic. I have been exposed to different cultures and therefore have made friends from all over the world. I have gained lots of skills such as team work, communication, leadership, problem solving and networking skills which will make me highly sought after by employers.
Was there a difference between you and your peers who had not studied the Foundation year before university?
Yes, there was definitely a difference between myself and my peers when I joined university. Studying a foundation year ensured that I had the necessary research skills at hand and this was because I used EBSCO database during while writing my dissertation and knew how to look for different journals and articles and extract the right information from them. I was well aware of the city of Manchester and its culture whereas it took four to six months for some of my peers to settle into the city.
What made you choose The University of Manchester as your place to study?
The University Of Manchester is one of the top universities in the UK and is ranked in the top 50 universities of the world. It has great educational heritage. Being taught by global research leaders made me choose The University of Manchester. The University of Manchester has one of the largest and most resourceful libraries in the country.
What made you Chemical Engineering at the University Of Manchester?
Manchester is the birthplace of Chemical Engineering. The school of Chemical Engineering at Manchester lies in the top 5 Chemical Engineering schools of the country. The reason why I chose Manchester is because, I wanted to gain some industrial experience as part of my Chemical Engineering degree and Manchester offered the Master’s course with industrial experience for four years whereas the same course offered by some other UK universities is for five years.
Where did you work for your placement year?
I worked for ExxonMobil Corporation for my 13 month industrial placement. I worked at their Fawley oil refinery which is situated in Southampton. Working for the world’s largest publicly owned company meant that I had an excellent opportunity to network with other people and make useful contacts which I could use in my future career. I gained exposure to some of its international offices and had a chance to work with international teams. I worked with the European sulphur supply team which was based in Brussels on a weekly basis. I also worked with UK and international based third party contractors and companies during the year. Throughout this time I made very useful contacts.
Were you given any help from the University to get placed in an industry placement?
The Careers Service at The University of Manchester is one of the best in the UK. They helped me with my CV and covering letter. I also arranged a practice interview with one of the Careers Consultants at the Careers Service which greatly enhanced my interview skills and provided me with confidence.
How do you think this work experience is useful to your future and career?
I always wanted to work in the oil and gas industry after graduation. This work experience has provided me with the right foundation to start my career in the industry. The industrial placement has also made me stand out from the crowd because not many students graduate with a year’s industrial experience on their CV. It’s a great advantage as employers these days not only look at the grades but they also highly value any placements or experience gained during the degree.
Would you recommend this INTO Manchester and this University to other students?
I would definitely recommend INTO Manchester and the University of Manchester to students who are looking to study in the UK. INTO Manchester prepares you very well to be a successful student at The University of Manchester.