Originally, I picked my A levels based on what I enjoyed, and researching the degrees possible with those subjects. I picked computing as an A level, but I hadn't a specific career path in mind.
My passion started when I decided to read a copy of CS4FN magazine that was in our classroom. It looked boring but I persisted. After the first page I was hooked. I read about using computers to mimic instruments to form music, without the need for humans, and how robots that were made like birds could use artificial intelligence to scan a disaster area for survivors. I thought about how these industry situations affected people's lives. This made me think about the wider applications of computer science, rather than the stereotype of someone sitting, coding, behind a screen.
I joined a debate group which looked at industry concepts like 'artificial intelligence'. I realised I had learned basic concepts that would help in the situation but I hadn't known when they would be used.
I did some more research and decided to do an EPQ in the perceptions surrounding medical robotics, thanks to a discussion with my computing teacher at the time. The results were interesting, and this opened my eyes, and I thought, 'This is what I want to do. I want to contribute to the potential of the computing field’.
I was worried as it was a male dominated industry initially, but after finding a university that challenges this, I was more determined than ever. I picked my university where they were welcoming, and from the first word in the taster lecture during the applicant day, I knew I had made the right choice. You get a gut feeling of where you could make your new home, and my university was just that.
My degree has led me to study more on medical future technologies and nanotechnology, which I never expected. Starting my artificial intelligence module is exciting, and will lead me into robotics during my third year. I have achieved more than I thought I could and learned things which I was unaware of. Studying my degree helped me to decide on my industrial placement year, which has led me to fall in love with another area of computer science.
The field is constantly changing, and, honestly, I can't predict what I will be working on because technology changes every day. One thing I do know, I chose something I love by simply trying something new.