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School of Science, Engineering & Design

Student views

Kirsty Freeman

Kirsty is enjoying her degree and really benefitting from a placement at Siemens.

Kirsty Freeman

BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering

'It’s so important to get some work experience – whether a short placement during the summer or a full year out, you learn things which are impossible to teach in a classroom.'

When I was deciding on a degree subject things were coming to a head with the global financial crisis so I was conscious of finding a job after university.

I chose chemical engineering – skills that will always be needed and can be transferred worldwide if UK jobs are difficult to find.

My options were to become an apprentice or get a degree – which I need to become a chartered engineer anyway. Engineering degrees are respected – they open doors to most careers which involve maths and solving problems. And by getting a degree first, I can start my life and work my way around the world. I was offered a scholarship at Teesside – that tipped the balance for me.

I am pretty sociable so the biggest chunk of my spare time is spent with my fiancé and our friends. I also try to work out every other day – running and a little weight training. Since starting my work placement I have missed out on the midweek nights out so I hope I can fit a few back in around revision and assignments next year.

I got my placement after six weeks’ work experience at the end of my first year. It’s so important to get some work experience – whether a short placement during the summer or a full year out, you learn
things which are impossible to teach in a classroom. It really puts you ahead of the competition. It’s gratifying to know that what I have been doing for the last year is going to help me in the future. Another big bonus is the money.

I have been incredibly lucky to get a placement with Siemens – it employs approximately 400,000 people worldwide. Being involved with a company of this scale is great for training and experience – for example I’m going to work in Finland before I come back to University.

I hope that all this added experience and training will really shine through on my CV and open doors when I graduate.