Can Tiryakioglu, MEng Manufacturing, from Istanbul
“ Bath’s selectiveness in terms of grades required, and its reputation for academic excellence made Bath my top choice. I had also read that Bath was a very beautiful city, and the university had an extremely friendly atmosphere.”
I based my decision on the Times Good University Guide ranking as I did not have the chance to travel to the UK to visit various universities, and thus had to base my decision on information I read online and in books.
I saw that for my course – Manufacturing Engineering – Bath ranked number three at the time (2005) after Cambridge and Imperial. I did not want the pressure of Cambridge, and I did not want to live in London. Next university down the list was Bath.
Bath’s selectiveness in terms of grades required, and its reputation for academic excellence made Bath my top choice. I had also read that Bath was a very beautiful city, and the university had an extremely friendly atmosphere. This all led me to making Bath my number one choice.
Why Manufacturing Engineering?
I have been interested in Mathematics and Physics since childhood. I’ve also always been into Economics and Management. Manufacturing Engineering is a degree that combines core engineering skills with valuable management education.
It is, I think, the most flexible of engineering degrees, be it at Bath or at any other university: Manufacturing engineers can work in diverse fields such as engineering (production, quality), logistics, sales, marketing, engineering consultancy, management consultancy, and finance.
I liked the flexibility and also sound engineering knowledge a Manufacturing Engineering education would provide me with, and knowing that the Manufacturing course at Bath is one of the best in the country, I chose to study Manufacturing.
What’s best about Bath?
There are a few things I like about Bath: first of all, it’s a beautiful and safe city (crime is low). Secondly, the University is a friendly environment, and the staff are very supportive. Finally, it has a good location: Bath is close to London (just one and a half hours train ride) and also to Bristol, a beautiful city with a lot of cultural and entertainment offerings.
What are your career aspirations?
I plan to work in the finance sector in London, to be more precise, in investment banking. Bath is helping me achieve this in the following ways: First of all, it has an excellent academic reputation – firms in the City know Bath University and believe students who went to Bath are highly skilled and qualified. Second, the Careers Advisory Service is an incredibly useful resource: From the CAS, I collected many finance sector books and leaflets, widening my knowledge in finance immensely. Then, I used CAS’ guides on how to write effective CVs and cover letters.
They were very useful. Having written my CV, I booked an appointment with a CAS advisor, and we went through it, changing any mistakes and making it ready for submission. As a result, I was successful in passing the application stage of many banks. Finally, the business education I gained through business modules I studied, such as Business Processes helped me in the application process.
What were the greatest challenges you encountered?
I did not encounter any big challenges entering the British higher education system. However, I can say the exam time is pretty stressful, but then again, that is common to all universities all around the world! I must also say the education at Bath is of a very high standard, and prospective students should bear in mind that they will have to work hard if they want to succeed.
On a more personal level, one slight concern I had was the fact that I had to make new friends, as I simply did not know anybody, but that happened the very first day. The Fresher’s Week organized by the Students Union was the solution – I met people instantly and made friends. I encourage all international students to participate in Fresher’s Week activities – I have observed that some of the events may clash with the International Student Orientation events, however I still recommend all international students to join in the Fresher’s Week – it’s the sure way to get used to the university, make new friends and have fun!
Did you do a work placement as part of your course?
I did do a placement year for my course. I worked as a Manufacturing Engineer at the production plants of a jet engine company. I was in a team of engineers whose job was process optimisation/improvement, scrap reduction and cost minimisation. I basically utilised Lean 6-Sigma methods to eliminate scrap seen in the production processes used at the facility. I completed a Lean 6 Sigma improvement project, and successfully eliminated a defect seen in production.
This experience will help my career because I have gained broad work experience and mastered inter-personal, project management and time management skills. I worked effectively under pressure in a team environment, in a self-organised manner, satisfied project deadlines and delivered results.
I have learned a lot of new things in the field of process improvement sub-field of manufacturing engineering; TQM, 6-Sigma, Lean among others. By completing my project, and going through some training the company gave me, I successfully became a Green Belt – a process improvement specialist. All these soft skills and experience will help me in my future career, whatever it will be.