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School of Engineering Blog

School of Engineering Blog

A blog for students, staff, alumni and friends of the School of Engineering.

Why join an engineering student society?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Aleksandra, third year BEng (Hons) Electrical and Mechanical Engineering 

Being part of a group that helps you learn, grow, and gain practical experience is incredibly important, especially in the world of engineering. 

While studying at Edinburgh, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with HYPED (the University’s hyperloop society), European Hyperloop Week, and the Polish Society, and I want to share why I believe every aspiring engineer should consider joining similar societies. 

As a committee member of HYPED and the Executive Director of the European Hyperloop Week, my days are filled with exciting tasks aimed at organizing an international hyperloop competition in Zurich, Switzerland to take place in summer 2024. With over 700 student-led hyperloop teams participating from all over the world, it’s a massive project.  

But amidst all the work, I’ve learned some essential skills that are super helpful for any engineering job. 

1. Time management and decision-making 

One big thing I’ve learned is time management and decision-making. With so much going on, I’ve had to learn how to prioritize tasks and make smart decisions quickly. Whether it’s organizing meetings, talking with experts, or keeping track of our progress, I’ve had to stay organized and make sure everything runs smoothly. 

Being part of HYPED also offers hands-on experience from the start, and let me tell you, it’s been invaluable. This experience will undoubtedly help you excel in your laboratory sessions starting from the second year of your studies. Imagine having practical skills right from the beginning—it’s like having a secret weapon that gives you a head start and makes you feel more confident in your abilities. 

2. Confidence  

My involvement with societies has also improved my confidence. I’ve had the chance to work with professionals and experts who have helped me grow and speak up more confidently. Through workshops and talking with others, I’ve learned to navigate challenges and share my ideas with others. 

3. Teamwork 

Another important aspect is teamwork. Leading a team means making sure everyone is on the same page and working together towards our goals. By having regular meetings and keeping communication open, we’ve built a strong and motivated team. 

Seeing our hard work pay off has been incredibly rewarding. Every milestone we hit reminds me of the importance of teamwork and dedication. Together, we’ve turned a group of individuals into a successful team. 

But it’s not just about the skills you learn. Being part of these societies has taught me so much about leadership, problem-solving, and working with others. These are lessons you can’t always learn in a classroom, but they’re crucial for success in the real world. 

Finding your community 

In addition to my involvement with HYPED and the European Hyperloop Week, being part of the Polish Society has been enriching too. As a Polish student, it’s been fantastic to meet other Polish people and hear their stories about why they’ve chosen Edinburgh and their experiences.  

This sense of community and support is invaluable. We all help each other, whether it’s through sharing tips for adjusting to life in a new country or helping each other with coursework.

Overall, my experience with these societies has been incredible. From learning essential skills to growing as a leader, the benefits are endless. But perhaps the most important part is the sense of community and collaboration. Together, we can achieve so much more than we ever could alone.  

So if you’re considering a career in engineering, I encourage you to get involved with societies like these. You’ll learn, grow, and make lifelong connections that will help you succeed in whatever you choose to do. 

Find out more 




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