Univ Dates: 2007-2011
Degree: MEng Engineering
Degree Level: Undergraduate
Occupation: Engineering Consultant at Frazer-Nash Consultancy
Biography: Kathryn is currently a Consultant at Frazer-Nash Consultancy. At Univ she was Women’s Captain of the Boat Club and rowed in the First VIII, and was a Student Ambassador in 2008-2009. She received a Master’s Travel Scholarship in 2011 which enabled her to travel to the USA.
What were your preconceptions of Oxford or Univ before you started here?
I was apprehensive about starting at Univ because of my preconceptions about Oxford. Like many applicants from state schools, I worried about the ‘type’ of person who studies at Oxford and if I would fit in. I quickly found that I needn’t have been concerned; Oxford’s a diverse environment, where students are bound together not by a common background or upbringing, but by enthusiasm for their subject.
What do you remember about your first day at Univ?
My overwhelming memory of my first day at Univ was how friendly everyone was. There is such a strong community feel at Univ – from fellow Freshers, to ‘College Parents’, to tutors and staff. That creates an environment which is relaxed and welcoming for nervous undergraduates. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, but one thing that they have in common is that they are enthusiastic and driven about their subject.
Was there anyone at Univ who really inspired you?
My biggest inspiration came from my tutors – they are experts in their field and tutorials are a chance to get personalised teaching from them; that means you will face rigorous academic challenges from the best engineers and this facilitates learning in a way which is just not possible in a lecture.
Any one outstanding memory?
I spent many a summer (and chilly winter) rowing on the river with some of my best friends made at Univ; I will treasure the memories and friendships I made at Univ most of all.
How do you think Univ shaped you?
Being surrounded by like-minded, smart, ambitious people really pushes you out of your comfort zone to achieve things you probably didn’t think were possible. Not only was I intellectually challenged during my time at Oxford, but my interpersonal skills were also greatly improved; that’s helped considerably in my career.
Did you know what you wanted to do after Univ?
I was lucky – I had a summer internship at an engineering consultancy which I enjoyed so much I accepted a job with them when I finished my degree. Since we operate in a range of markets, becoming an engineering consultant with Frazer-Nash offered me the opportunity to keep a wide engineering breadth until I had more experience to decide what I wanted to specialise in.
That was something which had really appealed to me about the course at Oxford. We excel at solving complex engineering challenges – the ones that require the right combination of intellect, experience and innovation, working with similar people to those I met at Univ.
How important is a project like this?
A project like the Young Univ Gallery is so important. You’re faced with limitless options as an undergraduate, and that can often be overwhelming. I hope this project will help increase current students awareness of the range of opportunities available and achievable after leaving Univ.
How did it feel to be selected to take part?
I feel such a strong affiliation to Univ, and I am very proud to have been asked to take part in the Young Univ Gallery.