Charlotte Hodkin: Dart Scholar Update

Charlotte Hodkin, a 2018 Dart Scholar, is a William A. Dart Memorial University Scholarship recipient who started her second year at the University of Bath where she is studying Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering. Before becoming a Dart Scholar, Charlotte was a 2018 recipient of the Dart Award for Excellence in STEM at graduation, for her achievement in science and mathematics subjects throughout her A-level studies. She also won top prize for her year at the Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge in 2015 and 2018 respectively. Throughout high school, Charlotte maintained an impeccable academic record while also playing on her school netball team. Read on to learn more about Charlotte, her experience as a Dart Scholar and her plans for the year ahead.

What led you to apply for the William A. Dart Memorial University Scholarship?

I’ve always known Dart growing up and one of my best friends won the Dart High School Scholarship. I competed in the Dart maths competitions through Minds Inspired so it’s always been in the back of my mind, especially because it’s STEM focused. Also, before becoming a Dart Scholar, I was a 2018 recipient of the Dart Award for Excellence in STEM at graduation for my achievement in science and mathematics subjects throughout my A-level studies.

How has being a Dart Scholar supported your studies and your career path?

It’s really nice to have the assurance that I have the work experience and that I have a network of people I can rely on for future career advice. Over the past summer alone, people offered to connect me to various people at companies in the industry that will help me in the future. Of course, financially the scholarship has been a huge help as well.

What led you to University of Bath and how has your experience been so far?

I visited several universities and I really liked the professors at Bath which I think is really important. They’re a STEM based school, they don’t teach English, drama, etc., and their stats are very impressive for engineering. I was drawn to Bath by the engineering programme and town; the professors are what influenced my decision. I really enjoy university, the first year was all about adjusting to England and settling into a routine. I spend a lot of time at the lake and reading.

What led you to major in Mechanical & Electrical Engineering? What are you goals for the future with this major?

I’ve always been a big maths person so I knew whatever career path I chose would have to do with maths. When we split the sciences, I realized I liked physics the best and when I looked at the modules for engineering, I realized they included all these subjects I was already interested in. I wanted to know more about the information that was being presented in the modules. I’m also interested in business and I know in future years I’ll learn about the business aspect of engineering which I’m looking forward to. I don’t have a career plan in mind yet, I chose this because I like the subject and we’ll see where I go from here.

What’s on the horizon for your second year?

This year is when I’ll decide if I want to apply for a year in the industry. This is where you select a company to work for in the middle of your degree to get industry experience while I continue to study. It will be exciting to look through the companies and decide what’s best for me.

What do you love about Maths?

I really like the problem solving. I like to go through the steps to get to the end. I’m really into logic puzzles, things like Sudoku. I love to complete these puzzles and have the grid in front of me. I’ve just always been good at numbers, it was even on my first report card. My teacher said “Natural math mathematician,” and my mom always likes to point this out. I’ve just always clicked with numbers.

How was your first year working as a summer Work-X student? Did it help with your current career path or is this a chance for you to see other options out there?

This past summer went really well! I was working with the Decco development architecture and design team where I helped with the 3D models for new buildings in Camana Bay. I completed a Revit software crash course which is a programme we used to build the models, and I helped with research projects. I also spent time with a mechanical engineer on site at Cayman International School (CIS), which was really fun. I hope to work for Dart again next summer and I wouldn’t be disappointed if I was with the same team. It’s always nice to learn new skills but I really enjoyed my time with Decco.

Do you have any advice for other students that are looking to study STEM subjects?

It’s important to find something that you enjoy doing, don’t just do it because you think it would be a great field. For me, I genuinely love doing maths puzzles such as Sudoku. I choose to do them when I have other stuff I could do so if you can find something related to STEM that you actually enjoy, I think it will fall naturally. That’s how it worked for me!