If you're interested in watching this blog post rather than reading it, here's the YouTube video!
This post is an about my own life, my time at university since my last post, and a chance to reflect on my work with YouTube, developing consistency on my platforms and making that oh-so-necessary incremental progress.
The ELS Application
If you happened to read my last post, back in January I finally managed to apply to the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Scholarship program. With an online application, a multimedia video and a blog post dedicated entirely to it, there was a lot to cover. You can read the post here.
Overall, I was quite happy with the finished result of the application - I managed to frame it in a way that even if I end up not getting the scholarship, I’ve made enough progress even just in the application, learning to edit videos and the like, that I would still see it as a win.
A lot of what I said in that video actually related to my goals with the YouTube channel, finding ways to educate engineers and engineering students, about technical skills, the advice I’ve learnt in my career so far, soft skills, all of that - and so with my plans this year to hopefully get consistent with the channel, I’m actually really excited for what’s to come!
The Gap in Engineering Teaching
It links in quite well with something I’ve noticed as I’ve gone through uni, which is this gap between what students need to optimise their learning process, specifically in engineering, and what academic staff provide through lectures, tutorials and the like. I think lecturers' teaching methods definitely vary, but as a student I’ve often seen that some things work better than others, and some ways of conveying information just make more sense - both to me and the others in my cohort. So a big part of what I want to do, is get across that technical information, as well as all the related stuff such as how to be a good team member, how to lead, get internships, and those sorts of topics that relate to the non-technical side of engineering.
In other content creation related news, I’ve been experimenting with Tiktok for about a year now, and that’s become quite fun for me, making more humour based videos, poking fun at random things in engineering and university. I filmed another one today, and it’s nice to see other engineering students liking that content as well, because they’re the kinds of things I laugh about with friends in lectures anyway, and so sharing them online, it makes me feel good to know that everyone else finds that kind of stuff as funny as I do :)
Exams and Semester
Another massive win for me last month in January, was finally finishing exams - in total I had 10 exams to pass, and 5 of them were pretty much back to back, one day after another, so it was a lot of stress. But now that it’s over and I can finally focus on this semester, semester 2, I’m looking forward to it.
I’m currently 3 days in, so I’ve been introduced to some of my new modules - I’ve seen my friends again after the break, and I had my first Project Kestrel meeting after the break as well.
If you don’t know what Kestrel is, it’s a student project, made up of about 50 or so members, and we design drones to be applied abroad in humanitarian and medical emergency contexts. So as the Avionics Lead, the guy in charge of coordinating all the electronics of the drone with the other sub-teams, it was straight into work yesterday, because we have a lot to accomplish in the coming weeks.
It definitely helps that one of my university modules this semester is doing basically the exact same thing, designing a quadplane, that’s capable of VTOL and fixed wing flight (meaning it can take off vertically from the ground and then transition to flying like a normal plane when it’s high enough).
Definitely a lot to do for both of those projects, but to be honest it’s really rewarding work, and I get so much enjoyment even just from the communication aspect of it and figuring out how to make the teams I’m in work at their best.
Something I’ve just remembered that I also want to address, sort of an elephant in the room if you watch my YouTube videos, is the lack of another travel vlog to cover the second day of the Space Conference I attended last year, back in September.
I actually got around to putting all the footage on my drive and getting to the point of collating it and doing the whole video editing process. But to be completely honest, as a beginner, it became this massive mountain for me mentally to get over and actually get to editing it, so it’s been left in the dust for a while now.
Something I’ve learnt as I’ve watched other creators talk about and make videos, is that when you’re trying to create content in this way, you need to focus on getting going before you get good. And although the travel vlog I made last time was satisfying to perfect from what I knew, I realised that what I needed to keep myself going was to make videos like my most recent one - relatively unedited, just me talking at a camera - because that’s so much faster.
In the future, I might still return to that footage and give you guys a proper look; Space Comm Expo last year was a really great conference and so I would love to - but maybe at some point later on. In any case, I hope you enjoyed this post, and are looking forward to many more updates!
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