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Yara Chobaki

BEng (Hons) Medical Engineering with Industrial Placement (2017)
Edison Engineering Development Programme (EEDP) with GE Aviation, Cheltenham

Yara Chobaki

Why did you apply to the University of Bradford? What was your first impression of the university and the city, and what did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?

I initially applied to the University of Bradford because of the 12 month industrial placement they offered as part of a sandwich degree course. The opportunity to gain exposure to the working world in a field in which I was very much interested, appealed to me greatly. [I thus completed a 12 month internship at GE Oil & Gas as part of my industrial placement year, following my second year of study, before returning to complete my final year].

Upon visiting the university for the first time during the University Open Day, I was pleasantly surprised with how friendly and informative both the staff and the current students were. I had the chance to speak to students studying the courses I was interested in applying for, and seek general advice and feedback from them. Ultimately, the warm welcome I received played a major factor in influencing my decision to both apply to the University and accept the offer to call this new institution my home for the next 4 years.
Undoubtedly, what I have enjoyed the most about my time at Bradford is making new friends with people from all walks of life. I have certainly established friendships and acquired skills, both academic and personal, to last me a lifetime.

Why did you choose that particular course? What did you like and enjoy the most about your course?

I have always had a strong appreciation for engineering and have aspired to enter the field. I wanted to pursue a career where I am able to practice being innovative. The healthcare industry seems to be a thriving sector, which unquestionably, affects many.  Medicine has always been a crucial and essential part of modern society and so I found it extraordinary that today’s engineers are able to apply both a combination of biological and engineering principles to the medical field in efforts to improve healthcare diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. For this reason, I chose this course.

The University of Bradford is one of the only universities in the UK offering this course with modules touching on all fundamental areas in engineering, not just medical. I found this to be extremely helpful as I was able to apply all theoretical skills that I had developed from every single module, to practical use during my time in industry – which was in a completely different sector to that of relevance to my degree. Nonetheless, engineering is still engineering, and once you know the basics, you’re able to mould yourself into any desired job role within the field. That’s what makes engineering so great!

What tips would you give to prospective students?

I’d say, learn to step out of your comfort zone. This will surely broaden your horizon. No course is “easy” and no course is “too difficult”.  With hard work and dedication comes a world of opportunity. There’s an abundance of help and support at the university regarding whatever struggle, worry or problem you may be facing.  Regarding the course you choose to study, staff are always there to help. Though university means more independent study, it’s still ok to ask for additional help when need be. Particularly with engineering, there were Maths clinics available to everyone.  During my first and second years at university, I found these clinics to be EXTREMELY beneficial for me.  Get out there, ask questions, explore!  You want to be successful? Step out of your comfort zone and stay out of your comfort zone!!

How did Career and Employability Services support you during your time at University?

Career and Employability Services were a great support during my time at university. When applying for 12 month internships during my second year, I attended various workshops addressing how to fill out job applications, tips and advice with writing CVs and Cover Letters, as well as the most effective way to perform in both a telephone and face-to-face interview.  I even had the chance to book a “practice” face-to-face interview with one of the staff members and receive feedback on my performance. Very, very helpful and I’m thankful for this service!

Tell us about your current job…

Starting end July 2017, the Edison Engineering Development Programme is a graduate scheme involving three 8-month rotations over a 2 year period, whereby graduates will be trained in over 30 different areas ranging from Software, Electronics, Mechanical, Project management and more. The site I will be working at specialises in Avionics Systems, and therefore I will be involved in working on plenty of new exciting projects.

What action did you take to improve you employability whilst at University?

A major key in becoming employable is having people skills, and so part time jobs (mostly in retail) allowed me to improve both my customer service and team working skills.  During a lot of the interviews I have had for job positions, including my positions at GE, there was a lot of competent questioning whereby various scenarios involving team work and problem solving were addressed.  It’s good to gain experience outside of university to be able to, not only be a well-rounded individual, but to have more interesting things to say at a job interview.

What advice would you give to current students wishing to enter this type of career?

Don’t be afraid, just go for it! No amount of advice given to me back when I was applying for university could have prepared me for the four incredible years that were to come. Don’t get me wrong, these past 4 years have been far from easy, but they were definitely possible. Just take everything as it comes, manage your time well, be organised and be THIRSTY for success. Pave your own way and learn that balance is key! Life is only as good as your mind set. Adopt a fearless, success-thirsty mentality and keep pushing! And remember, when things get difficult, you’ve got a whole institution ready to help. Just ask!