by Lauren Friel
At the end of my first year of studying Mechanical Engineering, I was nominated by the University for a Women in Engineering award, for females of academic excellence, for which I had to submit an application and create a video about what the programme would mean to me.
After my application had been submitted, I was invited to the launch of the event at Silverstone, over the Formula Student weekend last July.
The event allowed me to network with other young women in Engineering from many different universities, all of whom were in different stages of their degrees so could each offer advice and share stories of their experiences studying Engineering. We were then given lunch in the exclusive British Racing Driver’s clubhouse building, where some of the leading women in Engineering came to join us and talk to us over lunch, telling us about their jobs and how they got where they are today. We also attended a panel discussion with Jensen Button and more leading women in Engineering, which was very interesting to listen to.
Although I didn’t win the award, I still get access to many of the prizes, such as networking events with leading females in the engineering industry, a two-year membership to the Women in Engineering Society and help finding an internship from the Santander Universities Internship Scheme. It is an award I’m very glad to have applied for, as the experience of the launch event and the benefits I still receive are very worthwhile. I would definitely encourage people to apply for this next time the award is offered, as well as similar initiatives that may be offered, even if just for the chance to attend a networking event such as this one.