We thought it might be interesting for our student ambassadors to reflect on their time here as Cardiff University students. What did they enjoy and did they take advantage of all the opportunities available to them? In this post, Adam Dixon, who’s currently studying an MEng in Mechanical Engineering, tells us what advice he would give himself if he was starting university again.
When I was starting my first year of university, I did not work as hard as I should have. I missed many lectures and neglected my academic development. For example, I did not put many hours into my Finite Element Analysis (FEA) workshops. This was very foolish of me, as it wasn’t until my Industrial Placement until I realized the full potential of FEA and Computer Aided Design in launching an enterprise. After working with programs such as AutoCAD and Solidworks on my placement, I became confident with the technology and started trading. I could have done this 2 years earlier if I put my head down and worked! I could have been trading at a higher level than I am currently.
This story illustrates a personal example of the sheer levels of opportunity that university provides. We are taught cutting edge material and have access to laboratories, workshops, fully stocked libraries and ample computer access. There are very few places outside of the university that can provide such a hot-bed for innovation and Entrepreneurialism. Many of us are involved in amazing projects during our third and fourth years, exposing us directly to potentially world breaking research.
Personal confidence plays a great role in the ability of people, as a more confident person is exposed to more opportunity. Therefore doing confidence building things such as expanding social networks, cooking from fresh ingredients at home, regular exercise (my next target!), and developing professional and academic skills have and will improve my confidence and get me out there more.
Therefore, I would advise myself (after giving myself a big kick in the rear):
- Work hard and play hard – the process of working hard and achieving results is a snowballing motion of confidence building and self-improvement.
- Develop your social network more – getting involved with more and more people strengthens the opportunity to make more friends and connections for the future.
- Cook at home from fresh – cooking for yourself and friends using raw ingredients is a great way save money, eat healthily and relax. You can store excess food in the freezer for a fast microwave meal.
- Keep a regular exercise regime – having lapsed for the last 4 years, I can definitely remember how great it felt to be fit and lean.
- Always be on the lookout for opportunities – look at the Cardiff University message board, the Student Competitions website, maintain a presence on O-Desk and E-Lance and talk to Enterprise about any ideas (even naff ones like making musky home brew).