Another year done and dusted. I had my last exam last week and it feels so good to be done. No more assignments and tests for 3 months and a long and enjoyable summer out of Auckland to look forward to.
As I explained in my first blog, if you are anything like me, you will be frantically reading this post the day specialisation applications are due in to help you decide. Hopefully I can help with this.
I had no idea what specialisation I wanted to do. As my friends jokingly tell me, I considered just about every option (except electrical!). I read all the blog posts to try and help me get an idea what second year was like. I only picked mechanical as it is very general, allowing me to keep opportunities open.
However, I am extremely glad I chose mechanical. The combination of material science, engineering mechanics and design fits my interests in solving practical problems. It was also peaked my interest in aero-hydrodynamics, thermodynamics and engine design.
But what advice can i give to someone looking at Mechanical as a option?
For anyone who enjoyed and did well in ENGGEN 121, ENGGEN 115, ENGGEN 140, CHEMMAT 121 and has a healthy appetite for knowledge and understanding of how things work, then mechanical is a good choice for you. ENGGEN 121, ENGGEN 140 and CHEMMAT 121 cover the theoretical knowledge of the Mechanical specialisation (engineering mechanics, thermodynamics and material science) whilst ENGGEN 115 gives you a taste of design and team projects. In mechanical engineering, you have the most design papers and team projects in your degree than any other specialisation. On average there is one design paper per semester, so communication skills and teamwork are essential skills. This also means strong CAD skills are helpful for the degree, but not necessary. I am not very good, but like any skill, modelling improves with practise.
However, the most important aspect is interest. If, like me, you are interested and like knowing how things work, then mechanical is a great choice for you.
After your degree, Mechanical offers opportunities in almost any field of engineering, from civil to aviation. With a strong background in mechanics and thermodynamics, and plenty of experience of design and team projects, the skills learnt in mechanical engineering can give you a job in any field you desire.
As a bonus, the Mechanical specialisation is the second largest. It did not even fill up last year, so if you put mechanical as your first choice, you are guaranteed a place. This doesn’t mean the specialisation is full of drop-kick students. If you are smart and apply yourself, there is plenty of content to learn and push yourself with.
Its been a blast writing this blog, and I wish you all the best with your specialisation choice and future years of study.