photo of Schucechchha Ghimire

Building confidence, skills and a business at Brighton

Electronic and Computer Engineering student Shuvechchha is already putting her business ideas into action and plans to continue building on them after graduation. We caught up with her to find out about her studies and her business.

I came to an open day at Brighton and liked that engineering here is really hands-on. We do a lot of practical work and you learn so much from it. I enjoy working like this, we still learn the theory, but because I’m doing engineering I wanted to focus on skills. Knowing how things work and making them work are different things.

My lecturers have been really open. They encourage you a lot – they won’t give you the answer in the first place but support you to try ideas out. Things won’t be perfect every time, you need to learn from your mistakes. It’s a good learning process.

My project supervisor Deshinder Singh Gill helped me set up my current project working with the Formula Student team. It’s amazing to be involved in it. My project involves designing a sensor network to go in the car so the team can collect data about the design and what is happening during the race. I’m using existing sensors and making them work together to get the data I require. For example, how the suspension reacts while the car is being raced and using the data to inform the design of the next years car.

I’d really like to go to Silverstone with the team. I’m quite competitive, so I’d like us to win! It’s like the robot wars project we did in our second year, that was a highlight for me. We worked in groups, I was the only electrical engineer in ours and I designed the speed controller for our robot. We came second out of about 20 groups – but I would have liked to have come first!

It was amazing fun. And working in a group with people from other fields is important as that’s how you’ll work when you graduate. It can be frustrating but you can learn a lot – such as there are multiple ideas for solving one problem and you have discussions to work out the best idea and go with that.

STEM subjects have so much to offer. I like that I can see how what I’m developing and working on now might look in five years’ time. I’m working on a business idea and was lucky enough to win the Santander University of Brighton Ideas Competition which has given me some funding to take my business forward.

BeePurple, the university’s entrepreneurship support service, have helped me a lot. I used to go to their events and approached them about my business idea. I am building a chat interface that can attach to the university’s website, that makes it easier for students to apply during clearing if they don’t always feel comfortable talking on the phone. They helped me identify the steps I needed to take, identified mentors, suggested I apply to the competition and helped me practice my pitch. They are really supportive.

I want to take this idea and do it! One of the judges is helping me with setting the business up and thinking about things like branding. And I’m currently working on a minimum viable product (mvp).

Applying to and studying at Brighton has been a personal experience. I studied at high school in Hastings through a Pestalozzi scholarship and came to an open day at Brighton. When I started I wasn’t confident in being an engineer, but at Brighton I have learned a lot and built my confidence, and am learning new skills.

Brighton is cool, it’s fun and is more diverse than I imagined. I have made a really good group of friends here. They are really encouraging and really smart. We’re mostly on the same course and hang out a lot and understand the same stresses. I’m from Nepal and my friends have also educated me in British slang!

My advice is apply! Get involved in different things, reach out and create opportunities.

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