I heard about BP’s Ultimate Field Trip in my first year as a chemical engineering student, and the amazing prize meant I was keen to take part even then. Nevertheless, I decided to wait until my second year to apply for the challenge as I felt I needed a bit more technical expertise. When the challenge was introduced in my second year, I formed a team of three and got started.
We made it to the second day of the two day semi-finals, only to find out we did not make the final. Nevertheless, the experience was an invaluable one; I became friends with a team member who I didn’t really know very well prior to the challenge, and after pitching and presenting to BP staff with years of technical expertise, I don’t think presenting to lecturers will ever be quite as daunting again. Considering we are university students, the hotel and free food weren’t bad either…
Even if we didn’t make it, last year there was a Birmingham team in the final, and this year there will be again! What puts people off entering is usually the daunting nature of a challenge which you may know nothing about, but coming up with an idea is mainly attributable to research or sparks of ingenuity during lectures. Once you have an idea, you simply work with your team to develop it, and have, what I can assure you, is an amazing experience in the meantime.
by Mary Ryall Zuazo