My Journey to Cranfield as a Woman in STEM scholar
Hi, I’m Sheriffa and I’m currently studying Water and Wastewater Engineering MSc. I have always felt a yearning to pursue postgraduate studies internationally, to expand my knowledge in a particular discipline and to gain invaluable experiences from a global perspective.
When doing my research about potential universities, I discovered a local newspaper article that featured a scholar who was on the verge of commencing studies at Cranfield University. I immediately decided to visit the University’s website to do additional reading about its history and academic programmes being offered.
I was instantly fascinated with the University’s reputation of being recognised as a premier institution at the forefront of science and engineering among other academic fields. My professional background in food and water microbiological analyses directed me to the courses offered in Water Science.
I applied and was successful in gaining admission to the Water and Wastewater Engineering master’s course and was extremely elated. Shortly thereafter, I contacted Student Immigration and Funding to enquire about funding opportunities. I applied for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM and waited with bated breath for the outcome of the decision. When I received notification that my application was successful, I was immediately astonished, but I felt extremely proud, ecstatic, and grateful for such a prestigious award.
Since arriving at Cranfield University, the scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to meet the fellow British Council Women in STEM scholars in my cohort, and some other members of Cranfield University team who provided indispensable advice and assistance along my journey. Essentially, it has allowed me to expand my network both personally and professionally, because I have had opportunities to meet and interact with multinational students, staff members and industry leaders with diverse backgrounds and unique experiences. Additionally, this scholarship has granted me the chance to develop and expand my knowledge of certain key issues regarding water quality and water treatment and the measures that can be implemented to protect this vital commodity to safeguard a sustainable future.
So far, the MSc Water and Wastewater Engineering course has been challenging but also stimulating and exciting. The lectures are very interactive and engaging and oftentimes, there are even external presenters including Cranfield alumni, who deliver presentations on certain topics. Despite the pandemic, I am delighted that we have been able to attend site visits to two wastewater treatment plants and to have laboratory practicals as scheduled. I have thoroughly enjoyed these experiences because they have served to reinforce my understanding and appreciation of the topics presented in lectures.
Life on the campus has been great so far. After lectures or even during break times, it is quite lovely to have meals at the food outlets on campus such as Reggies, Stafford Cripps or at the Vincent Building. I usually take the opportunity to catch up with fellow course mates or other students as we share our individual experiences and aspirations.
Currently, I am anticipating the start of the final taught module of the course, which will be followed by a group design project. I also hope to visit other local communities near the campus and travel to other cities to experience more aspects of the British culture.
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God be with you in all your endeavors the sky is the limit I love you dearly take care
Congratulations Sheriffa, so very proud of you. Continue to excel despite the many obstacles you may encounter. Remember, with God all things are possible. He brought you there and He will certainly see you through. Praying for you. Aunty Yvette