The beach at Bay Campus holds particular significance to Ahmed Ibrahim. On 1 September 2017, Ahmed and two of his best friends, who he met whilst completing his MSc at Swansea, watched the sun set and celebrated their friendship before they parted ways the next day.
Ahmed, who is currently a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, still recalls how the view and sea breeze helped him to relax, aiding his psychological wellbeing throughout his course (which he aced!)
My aunt first encouraged me to think about studying abroad. She saw that I had potential to further my studies and felt that I had the right energy to challenge myself. I also spoke to my graduation supervisor who encouraged the idea.
I discussed which universities would suit me with an educational councillor and based on this information she provided a shortlist of institutions, which included Swansea University.
I decided upon Swansea because of its reputation and the great facilities at the brand new Bay Campus – my graduation supervisor was thrilled I had chosen to go to Swansea!
The University processed my application really quickly; I was accepted within 3 days. That same day, I was at a University Fair back home in Egypt, and there was a representative from Swansea University present. I showed him my letter of acceptance and he took a selfie with me, which was shared on Twitter – I still have it on my laptop.
I entered the Navy Plaques competition because I wanted to recapture my memories of Swansea. I had intended to come over this summer for the Centenary celebrations; I will definitely still make the trip when I can.
I always tell people about my time at the University and I often receive messages from students in Egypt wanting to know more about studying in Swansea, so I provide as much information as I can.
I am still in touch with the friends mentioned in my memory – one of the photos we took that day is on my pin-board next to my desk to remind me of the great times we spent together. I have them on LinkedIn as well so I can follow their careers – and remember their birthdays, one of the greatest advantages of social media platforms!
After my MSc, I had to decide between applying for jobs and going further down the academic track. I believed I had the qualities needed for a PhD; I really like to make science, not just learn it, so a PhD made sense for me. I spoke to my MSc advisor and tutors in Swansea to ensure I made a well-informed decision.
In the future, I am looking to go into industry; there are many opportunities available to PhD holders in the US, especially in Chemical Engineering. I have also considered a postdoc to enrich my research knowledge, in both my field and other disciplines.
My year in Swansea was a major turning point for me. I learned some crucially important skills needed to conduct research and I still use them in my work now. I have a lot to give back to Swansea University, my time there was priceless and I can’t find good enough words to describe it, I’m so grateful.