“University affords opportunity– even if you don’t see it at that moment.”
Cybernews Academy sat down with José Carlos Tejeda Guzmán a second-year Robotics and Intelligence Systems student from Constructor University, previously known as Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. Originally from Mexico, José told us how he decided upon his university and how he felt transitioning from home to his new life. During our interview, this young student spoke of his childhood, his relationship with engineering, and what motivated his move.
From Mexico to Germany
Originally, José had planned to pursue his academic journey in Mexico and then pursue a Master's degree in Europe. He knew Mexican universities have excellent robotics and intelligence system courses and thought of undertaking his bachelor's degree there. However, during his last year in high school, some friends who had settled in Germany suggested studying abroad. The presence of a solid South American community in Bremen, including people from countries like Guatemala, Colombia, and Ecuador, provided him with a support system that made the transition seem less daunting.
The prospective student considered universities across the globe, “I found some programs in Ireland, the UK, and some courses in the US.” However, Germany always appealed to José. From an engineering perspective, José was interested in the rich history of the First and Second World Wars. He told us of another facet of German society that piqued his interest—specifically, that Germany is globally recognized as one of the best countries in the world for technological engineering.
It’s in the family
This passion for engineering didn't spring from just anywhere. Mechanical engineering was deeply rooted in his childhood and helped forge his connection with the craft. José told Cybernews Academy of his childhood and how his father, a mechanical engineer and firefighter, introduced him to the world of mechanics from a young age. Being curious about how things work, José often assisted his father in fixing machinery, even helping to repair the family car. This hands-on experience ignited his interest in mechanical engineering. However, he was keen to break into a different facet of the industry; robotics. His desire to combine mechanical engineering with robotics ultimately motivated him to embark on this journey.
After making his choice, José made his way from Mexico to Germany and started his course. This young student told us more about the skills he learned during his first two years at Constructor University. “I learned programming and coding skills, but perseverance and resilience are the most valuable things I’ve learned.” José discussed some of the more challenging parts of his course where his newfound perseverance and resilience came into play. “The most challenging part was like learning, for example, Python programming.” Having not come from a background in coding, it was tough for José to adjust as other people in his course already understood the program. These programs, like Python and CNC, are the most valuable tools he has learned. One of the things this robotics student wished he’d known before starting university was the basics of coding. In addition, José found that mathematics skills were critical at the beginning of his course. Assessing the skills that you need before you start university is essential. However, like José, you can always learn along the way.
Securing an internship
While completing his course, this bright robotics student secured an incredible internship at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. From Germany, he moved temporarily to Spain to take up a role that involved engineering robotic wheelchairs for people with disabilities. José is "contributing as an intern in a research project involving the simulation of Orthosis-Chair Hybrid Platforms. José found this opportunity by looking at leading robotics and intelligence systems companies and emailing these organizations, asking if they needed an intern. This proactive and persistent approach is a potential way of getting the placements and internships you want. On this occasion, this approach worked, and José worked in this industry for three months. José told Cybernews Academy that one of the perks of university life is finding an internship and applying your skills to a real-life work environment, which is one of the best ways to develop your practical skills.
José spoke highly of the extracurricular activities at his university. He told us he participated in his university's football team during his first year of studies. He said it was gratifying, even though they lost every game. This sports fan described his university environment as just "super fun, everyone is happy and just having a good time," he said. The best thing about university is having fun with friends and feeling part of a fantastic team. José told us that you need friends at universities as they will also help you create future opportunities.
José Carlos Tejeda Guzmán's journey from Mexico to Germany displays the power of determination, resilience, and taking advantage of opportunities. His personal development, academic improvement, and memorable experiences at Constructor University have shaped his studies and provided him with new skills to apply to his future career. As he continues his academic and professional journey, José advises prospective students to focus on their studies, do their best, and be open to meeting new people, as these connections can lead to new opportunities that can shape their lives in remarkable ways.