11 August 2021
Demi George will soon be attending the University of the West of England – Bristol, as a scholarship student, learn more about what Demi is planning to study and the skills she is looking forward to bringing back to St Helena.
Why did you choose this field?
“I chose this field because I like maths and physics, so the most logical option was engineering. However there are over 40 different engineering degrees you could choose from, so finding one I wanted to do was a challenge. Nevertheless, I finally decided to study mechanical engineering as this field of study is the broadest, most diverse and one of the oldest disciplines of engineering in the world. It covers a range of topics from mechanics to electrics even bioengineering in some cases. Moreover, I thought that having something more diverse would benefit St Helena as we must be multi-skilled here. This undergraduate degree will also allow me to specialise into a specific area in the future, if I wish to do so. Also my research into engineering on St Helena showed there is a growing number of civil engineers but there are no chartered mechanical engineers which is vital if we continue to move forward in a more technology based world.”
Why did you apply for a Scholarship?
“I applied for the scholarship because I have always wanted to go to university. I have always been told by the older generation in my family and my parents, you should always try to do well in school and grab any opportunities you can whilst you are still young, as many of the older generation didn’t have as many opportunities as we do today. So that is what I did. I completed my GCSEs and A-Levels with good grades and now the next step on the academic ladder for me is to go to university and get a degree.”
Are you looking forward to going to University and why?
“Yes, I am looking forward to going to university. I think it is mainly for the new experiences. The exposure to new learning, greater exposure to life outside of St Helena, making new friends and possible networks for life.”
What opportunities/experiences are you most looking forward to?
“I am looking forward to all experiences, such as: learning new engineering concepts, moving into university halls and getting to know my flat mates, making new friends, joining university societies and getting to know Bristol.”
What are you hoping to bring back to the Island?
“I am hoping to bring back new ideas and the theory behind the subject because I know that we already have the skill set here of a mechanical engineer. St Helenians have much potential in this area, it’s just bringing back the knowledge of new technologies and seeing how we can apply these ideas and concepts to fit the Island’s needs; which is what I am trying to achieve.”
How will university help you develop your career path?
“My overall goal is to become a chartered engineer. Being a chartered engineer means that you are up to a certain professional standard which is recognised in the industry – it provides one with credibility and shows that we are working to a high standard. However, to achieve this I must first get my bachelors degree which will allow me to get my Masters. These qualifications along with a few years of work I will be able to apply to get my chartered engineer status. Therefore having the privilege of being awarded a scholarship to go to university is immensely helpful towards my overall career aspirations.”
What skills are you hoping to develop?
“I am hoping to develop personal skills along with practical and academic skills. Being a mechanical engineer requires one to have effective technical skills, an ability to work under pressure, good problem-solving skills, be creative, good interpersonal skills, including verbal and written communication skills also commercial awareness of products and most importantly teamworking skills. So I hope that I will learn all these skills and more.”
How important is learning to you and how will your learning impact the future of St Helena?
“My learning has always been important to me. I have overcome challenges along the way to get to this point, however I am a focused and determined individual who wants to do well.
I do feel that my learning will have an impact on our Island’s future because St Helena as well as the world is becoming more technical and with everything becoming more automated then we need people to design, implement and maintain all the machines we use on a daily basis.
I want to inspire others, particularly young women to become engineers and help support our future in a sustainable way to ensure we leave a good legacy for generations to come. I hope that through my learning and work experience it can benefit the Island by having home grown skills, someone who is committed to making a difference in the lives of others. For example a mechanical engineer could be very instrumental for regular maintenance of hospital equipment – which could possibly be lifesaving and cost saving for the Island.”
11 August 2021