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Finding a Safe Space in Academia: Why I Chose De Montfort University

Hey there!😊let's talk about why I ended up choosing De Montfort University as my academic home and why it's become so special to me.

To begin with the university ticked all the boxes for me academically , it had : good facilities , competent teaching staff , accreditations from IMechE and the IET and affiliations with potential employers in industries I wanted to work in. But all the other universities I got into were offering the same thing .

What made DMU stand out was that if felt like home. I know, it sounds cliché, but hear me out. As a black African woman from South Africa, stepping into the world of Engineering wasn't just about choosing a degree and a university; it was about finding a place where I felt like I truly belonged.

As a double minority being in STEM isn't always the easiest journey. You know, you kinda feel like you're constantly having to prove yourself. And let's be real, navigating the world as woman of colour is tough , people who look like me are not the standard for what engineers or people in academia look like. But from the moment I stepped onto the campus in Leicester , I felt like I belonged. And that’s because DMU isn't just a university; it's a community. And for someone like me, who's used to standing out in the spaces I occupy, finding a place where being me is celebrated? That's priceless.

I've had the privilege of living outside my home country, and let me tell you, being black comes with its own set of challenges no matter where you are. But at DMU, I found a safe space where I could just be myself. Where my identity wasn't a barrier but a badge of honour . And because DMU is a melting pot of people from different countries , races and religions I could learn to walk a mile in other peoples shoes too.

To add to that DMU doesn't just talk the talk when it comes to diversity and inclusion; they walk the walk. From events like the Black Graduates Careers Conference to initiatives like Coding Black Females, the women in Stem society and collaborations with the Association of Black and Ethnic Minority Engineers. They are all about creating opportunities and lifting up the voices of people like me.

I even got to the opportunity to speak at a Women in STEM panel for International Women's Day! It's moments like those that make me realise just how lucky I am to be here.

For me , DMU isn't just a university; it's a community and a sanctuary that empowers women like me.And I’ve found my place, my people , professors who care, and endless opportunities . I can’t wait to see the barriers I’ll break in STEM with the DMU community rallying behind me.

If you are looking to study a degree in STEM and want to be apart of something bigger than just completing your degree have a look at DMU. We are the community every aspiring engineer deserves.

Cece
Energy Engineering Student
De Montfort University

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