Advice from a second year electrical & electronic engineering student

Second year electrical and electronic engineering student at University of Nottingham Viktoria Adamyova caught up with Student Circuit last International Women’s Day.

A year on, we discuss what Viktoria has learnt, the best of being a STEM student, and advice to anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.

Viktoria has always had a passion for physics, and a huge reason for her studying engineering is her physics teacher.

“International Women’s Day (IWD) is a celebration of women in STEM for the most part, or a general celebration of women working in technical fields, and the fact that the ratio of male to female has been getting better. It’s an appreciation for positive role models and the great women in these fields.”

“I do believe that female role models in STEM are very important, regardless of one’s gender – the number of women in these fields, however, seems to be rising which makes me happy,” she added.

Viktoria’s physics teacher and biggest role model is one of her key motivations: “Back in my a-level class I was the only female student. It was wholesome the way she would give me extra practice papers after class and was always there to explain concepts.

A lot can change in a year

Second year is definitely more intense, explained Viktoria. The concepts are more difficult, as opposed to having a hugely heavy workload. However, they are more interesting as there’s a chance to go more in depth.

Viktoria is in her second year on the University of Nottingham Racing Team: “I love my role and truly respect the team members I have had the pleasure of working with, especially the incredible dedication of this year’s leads.”

The racing team has also allowed Viktoria to get involved in PR and promotional duties where she’s been able to put herself out of her comfort zone and develop her communication skills, confidence, and most importantly, her self-belief: “I would say I’m very introverted, and social anxiety was a big deal for me last year”.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Viktoria’s motto has always been to never be afraid of failure. She encourages the same from those she tutors, and everyone else she interacts with.

It’s okay to not know everything. It’s impossible to know everything. Viktoria encourages everyone to go ahead and ask the question, it will make things a lot easier for yourself.

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, Viktoria advises you to split your work into manageable chunks instead of trying to tackle everything at once.

She also explained: “Find yourself somewhat of a supporter. That could be your parents, your teacher, anyone who you can talk to about anything, because that’s a precious thing.”

Curiosity and passion for your subject go a long way. Even if you don’t necessarily have a lot of experience or the right skills, don’t be discouraged. You can still give it a go.

She added: “I knew almost nothing about programming, or software skills when I first started. But you’re here to learn. Going in with that mentality will get you a long way.”

It’s been a rewarding process for Viktoria, and it’s exciting to her to be studying such a challenging degree and being able to handle it.

Although sometimes it’s tough, being able to pull through every day is really rewarding and makes it worth it.