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Interview with an Engineering Foundation Year Student

Alfa talks about his experience studying BEng (Hons) Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering (with Foundation Year) in Chelmsford.

Please introduce yourself

My name is Alfa Saleh and I am study Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering at Anglia Ruskin University, on the Chelmsford campus.

I am currently in my foundation year, so I am learning skills I presume I need for university. These skills include fundamental maths, writing and presenting, referencing, critical thinking and basic ICT skills. It’s all very foundational, which I guess is implied.


How has the foundation programme help you get where you are today?

I genuinely think I am a more refined thinker because of this foundation programme. Critical Thinking as a course opened my mind to many concepts that I had not been aware of before, such as ethical dilemmas and different forms of bias. Through learning how to carry out research, I have been exposed to so much expert information on a variety of subjects related to technology, such as Artificial Intelligence. I would say I feel more equipped and independent as an academic now.


During the foundation programme did you have any particularly memorable teachers? What did you learn, and what was special about them?

I really appreciate all my teachers. As I understand is part of the ‘foundation’ process, they are very involved in all the students’ success. They encourage discussion and promote diversity of opinions.


What’s one piece of advice you have for students thinking about studying a foundation programme?

I would encourage the students to have their priorities set on straight before they begin the programme. I’ve got a picture of who I want to be at the end of my educational journey that I try to reflect on as much as I can. I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to for students just starting out to have one as well.


What are you aiming to do after you graduate?

I plan to work for very specific engineering companies that are inclined towards smart and sustainable engineering. Some examples include ABB, General Electric and Cummins, among others. Hopefully, I would have accrued enough work experience and skills during my time at ARU in order to make this a reality. I also plan to further my education perhaps to a doctorate level, and to someday start a business of my own.




Alfa Saleh, Nigeria
BEng (Hons) Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering (with Foundation Year) in Chelmsford



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