Aerospace Engineering (with Foundation Year) Personal Statement
Submitted by Chloe
Man-made birds of the 21st century move through the air, enormous lumps of metal 200,000 times heavier than the seagulls that inspired the idea. How? It's all down to today's engineers who have developed the fundamental ideas of flight first put forward by the Wright Brothers in 1903. At the age of 13, RAF Air Cadets left me longing for the next lesson to find out how powered flight has led to the luxuries we have today; rapid international delivery, worldwide flights to holiday destinations, quick response emergency air services and of course, the use of flight in military defence. It is the impact of flight that fuelled my natural curiosity and desire to study aeronautics.
I jumped at the chance to spend a week at RAF Cosford in a residential work experience for the WISE campaign. I began to see the obvious lack of skilled workers in the engineering industry, and more specifically the amazing career opportunity that women are significantly missing out on. I went through the week in awe of the airmen and women working on site. This, coupled with my studies of various subjects at cadets like principle of flight, pistons and other engineering based lessons, quickly led me towards engineering into the RAF. This work experience inspired me to apply for an Arkwright scholarship. After being successful in this application and also being lucky enough to be sponsored by the RAF themselves, I gained the opportunity to spend a week of work experience at RAF Cranwell. Here is where I recognised that I wanted to take the officer route into the RAF using my management skills and aeronautical engineering systems knowledge to manage teams of people and oversee a larger scale project. Engineering is a combination of innovation and creativity, alongside precision and accuracy, meaning that my four A levels are a good platform to start me on my path.
Through wider research, I have uncovered the development of unmanned systems which are being integrated for the use in a variety of uses. NASA have completed two stages for this, firstly for flight management and planning, navigation and surveillance and later using drones beyond the visual line of sight. This opens huge potential for both military and commercial application, possibly leading to much larger unmanned aircraft. This would make travelling safer to minimise the risks of a repeat accidents.
As well as my studies, I work part time in Clarks Shoes in the Kids' department, which has greatly developed my interpersonal skills, both with colleagues and customers, as well as learning to reach targets and conform to rules. As a secondary part time job, I work as an AVON representative, running a local round in my area, as well as selling to family and friends. This involves me selling a variety of products including cosmetics, homeware, clothing and shoes and working on a commission basis. This has helped me work to target, meet deadlines, and take full responsibility myself.
When I'm not working or studying, I have a number of hobbies that I like to pursue. Firstly, since the age of 9, and getting my own Canon DSLR on my 11th birthday, I have had an active interest in photography, in a variety of forms. This includes areas such as long exposure, fashion/make up and motorsport as well as many others. I also enjoy reading fictional novels particularly by Irvine Welsh and Stephen King. Photography also sits well alongside my passion for motorsport. I regularly attend amateur rallies in Wales, and plan to attend next year's World Rally Championships, where I will both take photos and enjoy spectating. I am intrigued by the parallel between the aerodynamic design in rally cars which have to perform on a ground surface, and that of aircraft which have to perform in a variety of vertical trajectories. I think the experiences I have been through and the skills I have developed, along with my passion for aviation and engineering is what makes Aeronautical Engineering the ideal course for me.