Friday, 9 October 2015

Coming back to Brazil

It is not easy to say goodbye!

              It is a mixture of emotions when it is time to go home! Even the "Joy" feeling is a bit confuse! 

Five main emotions — Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Joy according to the Pixar's film Inside Out

              One day, all of us will get separated from each other; we will miss our conversations of everything and nothing; the dreams that we had. Days will pass by, months, years, until this contact becomes rare… One day our children will see our pictures and ask “Who are these people?” And we will smile with invisible tears because a heart is touched with a strong word and you will say: “It was them that I had the best days of my life with.”

        If you are starting to read this blog from here: WELCOME! This is the blog where I tell the story of my wonderful time in England! :D If you are looking for a very exciting story to get inspired before going abroad, this is the right place!! 

           If you are starting to read this blog with this post, though, you are reading it backwards. You can decide if you start from the beginning ( me arriving in UK) or not, ok?  If you want the first option, just go to post of June 8 and try to follow the order. hehe

                  The first thing that I did after coming back from UK, after two weeks to be exact, was to share my experiences at my home university. I arrived in Brazil at 16 of August of 2015, after one year in the UK.  I only had 10 minutes to present  some students of Federal University of Vicosa my time in the UK. Can you imagine how difficult was for me to summarize the best time of my life in such a short time??

Me presenting the best time of my life in Brazil

             Thank you "Rede CsF" for giving me the opportunity to motivate more students to go abroad. If you know Portuguese I really suggest you to visit their website: 

Invitation for the event where I shared my experiences abroad
     "Rede CsF" or, in English, "Science Without Borders (SwB) Network", is a non-profit organisation which aims to unite the former SwB students with the common goal of finding ways to give back the country the investment made on them. I am a collaborator of this organisation because I was funded by the Brazilian government to study in the UK by the SwB scheme.  You can know more about it here:

              If I could come back to the UK and do everything that I did there again and much more I would!! But since I cannot be sponsored twice, it's good to back and be able to inspire more students to go "Above and beyond". Inspiring people to get out of their comfort zone is fulfilling for me because I know that this changes people. I am changed! I feel more powerful than ever in my life!! Wanna know why? Keep reading this blog!! ;)

          Before continuing, I want to thank so much Sheffield Hallam University for helping me change for the better!! I am much more confident in following my dreams because this University filled my so wanted dream of studying abroad with happiness, joy and lots of learning! Getting to know all of its staff was a blessing!! They had a great impact in my life! And I will be forever thankful! This is where you can see some of them:

             And finally I want to thank SwB UK Alumni for giving me the opportunity of engaging in another competition with this blog. It is not easy to write in a blog, but with the motivation of becoming the next SwB UK Ambassador it becomes easier!! :D  I want to show my Brazilian friends how awesome studying in the UK was by engaging in more speeches and being more active in the Community. But of course there are many places where you can also get inspired like in here:

                So, if you don't know me, this is my facebook profile:

             Nice to meet you!! I'm Jessica and I am glad to be your friend and share my experiences with you! Are you ready??

"There is no fun in a perfect life. So make a risk. Take a chance. Go where the wind takes you. Have fun. " Jenny C.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Academic Resources

I am so gonna miss this year!!

             Looking back at my academic year at Sheffield Hallam University I feel like I want to cry. I miss it so much! Do you want to know my favorite place there? The photo below shows it! This is one of the most useful places at SHU: Careers and Employability Centre!! It is amazing how much do they offer students!
Employability Center

              I went there when I wanted to apply for ICE CLUB. If you want to know more about it, there is a post where I explain it but if you don't want to wait for it you can know it by reading here:

              There is no case study of me in the ICE CLUB area, but there is one of me in the Conversation Club area at SHU website.  ;)
              I went also there when there was an event of Jaguar Lange Rover where they presented the company and the opportunities to do an intership there. There they offer CV consultancy, where they check the students CV and help them update the way they need. And all that for free!!

             I received emails from them with all the opportunities available for me to work as a student. They sent invitations for many events related to improving my skills. One that I was able to attend was a Linked-in Drop In which consists in receiving some tips about how to make a good use of my Linked-in account. Later I can do a post about it! ;)

            When I arrived in the UK, I was really hoping that I would have a visit to a factory. I got the chance to visit a lime industry. I went there with my classmates of a module called "Design Simulation of Manufacturing Systems". The objective of the visit was to observe the operations of the industry, film it and then simulate it in the computer. Thank you David Clegg for taking us there.

Beautigul day in the lime industry

               The visit was great and I had lots of fun! We used PPE - Personal Protective Equipment which refers to protective clothing, helmets, and other equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury. The photo below is me with some of the girls of my class, all Brazilians. :) 

Photo at Tarmac - Buxton Lime 

             With the capacity to produce 10 million tonnes of stone a year and over 280 million tonnes in reserve, Tarmac is the UK's leading producer of lime, powder and chemical stone. With this visit I had a better understanding on how the industry works. The teacher filmed everything and in class we used the information to simulate the operation of extraction of stones in ARENA (modelling software). To know more about this industry watch the video below.

Lime Solutions Tarmac

                     In Sheffield Hallam University there was also cutting edge technology! 



Scanning of objects

                  At SHU there were so many software available for students to use and also lots of computers. In the module called Lean Manufacturing the teachers required us to learn how to make a movie. They called a student from Cinema course who taught us the Adobe Premiere Pro software. This is the result of what we learned.

             It is hard to measure how much I learned with so many resources. But I know that they made my year abroad worth it. The library was the best place! Not only I could borrow books but also DVDs, cameras, notebooks. 

"The pursuit of knowledge is never-ending. The day you stop seeking knowledge is the day you stop growing." - Brandon Travis Ciaccio

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Farewell parties

It is hard to say goodbye to Sheffield!!

           The train station of Sheffield is beautiful!! Though after saying goodbye to so many friends I really started hating it. :/

           It is very important to have dreams, to run after what we want. And it is so much easier to achieve all those dreams with the help of positive people by your side. I have to confess that it is very hard to say goodbye to them after such a good time together!!

Saying goodbye to Imad, Christiane and Varum

               About the next picture: "The International Experience team and Directorate of International Development hosted a farewell event intake for the current intake of our Brazilian Science without Borders students. It was an informal evening where student shared their experiences over dinner and concluded with the presentation of the SHU Go Global Blog prize winner Jessica Neves".

Saying goodbye to Brazilian friends and International Experience Team

Winning the blog competition. Nice farewell present!! :D

                 Studying in the UK empowered me to achieve my goals. Enhanced my aptitudes by making me participate in extra curricular activities. They not only offered me excellent student support but also they were my friends!! They gave this wonderful IPad after they announced that I won the SHU Go Global blog competition!! :D   

Saying goodbye to my flatmates Critian, Natasha, e Leo and to some of my international friends

               Anees gave me such a nice present which was a video recording some photos and music track.

"Listening and being curious and wide-eyed in the world, I think, is what allows us to move forward, progress, evolve and learn and alter our behaviour and become more self-aware. I think that listening is kind of what it's all about." - Andrew Zuckerman

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Research Project

 Talk Science to me !!        

          What was the reason of me going to UK anyway? Besides learning other cultures and studying in one of the best universities in UK, Sheffield Hallam ^^ I went to do...  I will give you a hint: "Science Without Borders" hahaha That is right!! I went to learn SCIENCE!! And I will tell you with this post why I was interested in discovering the science and engineering behind the emerging technology of 3D printing! :)

              It all begun in my second semester of my Engineering course in Brazil. At that time I had a module called "Design for Manufacture", or something like that, where I had to use a design software called CATIA to basically create a 3D model of a product. (CATIA stands for Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application, and it is a multi-platform CAD/CAM/CAE software developed by the French company Dassault Systèmes.)

          I had to develop this project by using an already existing product as a model, because I needed to have the measures of everything. I could either use drawings of a project that is too big or not available for me to measure or I could just measure any product that was in my house. 

        Since I like innovative projects, I decided to search for something that interested me which is Renewable energy. I found this website with the drawings of exactly what I wanted: a Wind turbine. But not a common one! One that could be attached to an existing structure. :) 

Small Wind Turbines Mounted to Existing Structures. Available at

              The model I created was nearly as good as the original project represented in the image above. I have to thank a lot my friend Orlânia Rodrigues for making it possible for me to finish this project. I had the vision for the project and I knew that I would have to develop it with a "Bottom-Up" approach, which means making each piece separately and then putting all the parts together in the end. The hardest part was putting it all together, and since she had the experience she helped me not only with the commands to unite the pieces but also saved me with the design of the propellers (which was very tricky to do since the measures were a bit confusing). So, thanks Orlânia!! :)
              I was happy with this project and to be honest that was the first time I really felt like an Engineer.  I looked around every object in my life, and I could imagine how to design it in CATIA. I would look at a car and think "Uau! This shape would be difficult to design!!" And then looking to more simple objects I thought "That would be a piece of cake to design!" and so on. Therefore you can imagine how happy I was when I knew that in the UK I would have the chance to do an equivalent module, but now with a different software and with a different perspective. :)

Me in my first day of class of Design for Manufacture in the UK

                I loved the teacher since day one! Wanna know why? I like teachers that care about the students, and explain in details about the  module, and keep pushing students forward to work hard. His name is Nicholas Pickett. He is funny and passionate about his job. Not only he taught me to design a desktop-fan with a "Top-down" approach, which is creating the structure first, and then finishing with the pieces but he also accepted to be my mentor in my research project. 

      Using Creo Pro/ elements, collaboration and communication between engineering and manufacturing reduces the number of engineering changes after the product has been released to manufacturing, thus reducing costs significantly. I was very happy to learn this new tool. And this is the result of it:

               My Research Project consisted on building a Rep Rap. You can know more about at this link:

Me in the process of building the 3D printing machine

This is the result of my research project
        I wanted to know more about the technology behind building a low cost Rapid Prototyping machine. So I asked Nick how he could help me with that, and he easily bought this Rep Rap for me to assemble. I was excited, but since I had not many time to work on it he suggested that I should invite two friends to work with. I chose Mariana and Analu. They were my classmates during the year, and I always saw how hard working they were. The photo bellow there are there key-chains that we made with our names.

Keychain that we build with the Machine after we tested it

             The role process of building the machine, learning deeper about the technology, and working in a team  really made me learn a lot. We also researched about Food Science, because the innovative part of the project would be us trying to adapt the machine for printing food. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to test all our ideas, but I can tell that it was fun just to imagine us printing our names in Chocolate!! :D

Me, Analu, Mariana and Nicholas Pickett

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately CURIOUS." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Volunteering section 2

Everyone needs a role model

       Who loves Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have a very good reason to do it! Most of us will say that those are very interesting fields in which one can learn how to solve problems by studying and testing the possible solutions. However many will say that although they are very interesting fields they are also very complicated.

              So why do people choose to have a major in STEM? But more specifically why girls chose to be scientists? 

        When I was heading with other three engineers to a school in Manchester for a volunteering opportunity to incentive young girls to like STEM, we were discussing: What was the reason that made us choose Engineering as our major in the first place? Did we see the following post somewhere?

"We Can Do It!" is an American wartime propaganda poster produced by J. Howard Miller in 1943 for Westinghouse Electric as an inspirational image to boost worker morale. (wikipedia)

        Victoria Smith, which is the president of Women in Engineering and Maths Society at Sheffield Hallam University and who actually invited me to be part of this activity, said that she had a teacher who encouraged her to do Engineering in High School. That also happened to me!! Victoria in England and me in Brazil, we both had the same experience: WE WERE ENCOURAGED! :) 

           It is easy to be encouraged when you have a role model. I know that I had wonderful science, math and physics teachers. At some point in my final year of high school when I was asking some questions about my homework to my math teacher he saw that I was doing great with the exercises and he asked: "What major will you choose Jessica?" I said: "I am thinking about Engineering." He replied: "You are going to be a GREAT ENGINEER!" And that is when my eyes shined!

         The problem is that women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This made me feel a bit unsure about my choice. The thing is that there is an unconscious bias that STEM is not for women. You can know a bit about "unconscious bias" watching the video below which I thing is great!=D

Yassmin Abdel-Magied uses a surprising way to challenge us all to look beyond our initial perceptions

            Yassmin says it's time for us to be more thoughtful, smarter, better. And one solution that she give is: 

"The one thing that brought successful women together... the only thing that they had in common was the fact that they had good mentors... I challenge you to mentor someone different!"

          I have to say that Sheffield Hallam University gives us the opportunity to do exactly what Yassmin asks us to do. Have you ever heard about the Culture Connect Scheme? Here is a video explaining the Scheme:

                                        Culture Connect Scheme video

                Unfortunately I was not part of Culture Connect Scheme but I had many friends who took part on it such as Anees and who I know that loved it! He learned a lot Portuguese with my friend Analu, and she also learned some slang words from UK with him. It is nice to have a mentor and I know I did, because Anees also mentored me as a friend. If you want to share your experience in mentoring just leave a comment! :P 

               We must never have prejudice against someone. Actually we have to celebrate the differences! And mentoring someone not only make that person feel welcomed and comfortable about their choices, but also the feeling of being able to help is great! And I had the opportunity to be a mentor to girls between 13 and 16 years old that didn't know much about Engineering.

Inspiring young girls to be future Engineers by helping them in an egg drop competition!! :)

       The event I volunteered consisted in an egg drop competition. The girls had to engage in teams and find solutions to prevent an egg to break after being drop from a height place. I mentored them and they were successful not breaking the eggs. This is me holding the two devices designed by the girls I mentored. You see that behind are two girls snicking out because the competition was about to begin. Hopefully I was a good role model for them! 

            Wendy, who organized the event, said: "I had a chance of meeting with the mother of one of the girls.  The mother reported that her daughter had left school on Tuesday evening and was very unhappy at the prospect of their engineering lesson! But on her return home on Wednesday said it had been great fun. I had to go back to the school on Thursday morning - everyone was still raving about your work on our event; they were all saying how beautiful it was to see the girls engaging and having so much fun with this event. Rob added that his mum, who is a science technician at a school, said it is very unusual for girls to engage with science activities to this extent. In my opinion this event has had a major impact with all the staff and pupils alike. “  

              We can all have fun while abroad or doing any activity, but having a mentor or mentoring someone makes it even funnier!! Did you ever mentored someone in your life??

          “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Frankilin

Volunteering section 1

Volunteering is GREAT

          Being an student ambassador, as my friend Lucas Leung would say, is all about going the Extra Mile. For me going the “Extra EXTRA Mile” would be donating your time, doing things that you are not being paid for. Being a VOLUNTEER. :)

               In the UK, I chose to be a volunteer at British Heart Foundation (BHF), which is basicaly a charity. You can learn about it at 

              In Brazil, I worked in a junior enterprise, where I learned a lot about entrepreneurship being one of the Marketing managers. And I also worked as a tutor for Calculus 1's module, helping students with difficulties. Therefore, I had only done volunteering work inside the University environment. I was glad to be able to support a charity organisation.

              For everyone who lives in the UK, BHF is a very known brand. Most of the British people I talked either worked or helped BHF once in their life time. It was beautiful to see that. Here in Sheffield I visited two stores where I could buy used items like clothes, books, furniture, etc. for a low price. Not only had I seen their stores in other cities that I visited in the UK but also their donation points. 

Donation point in Charlotte Court

              In the student accommodation I lived, for instance, there was one donation point, that you can see in the picture above.  I passed by everyday, and most of the time I saw it full of donated items. This photo above does not quite represent the usual state of this red box which was often so full that people had to put their donated things on the ground because there wasn't enough space inside. 

            “How do they manage to collect so many donated items and sell all of them? How does their logistics work? How is it like to sort out and sell donated items?” Those and many other questions popped inside my mind every time I looked at it, but since I was busy with my classes I never really did anything to answer them, until I saw this:

Sign asking for volunteers

              The point of time that I saw this sign was perfect. My classes had finished and I would spend 2 months doing exclusively research, which I knew I would do with other two Brazilian students, therefore I would have some free time for volunteering work. 

              At the day I saw this sign I didn’t enter straight away at the store. Why? To be honest I was afraid. The store was big and there was at least 20 employees working there. All British, some of them with very strong Yorkshire accent (It is really hard to understand, believe me! hahaha) and all in all I didn't knew no one, of course.

          When I decided to work in Sheffield Hallam University,  as a student ambassador I knew who would be my “bosses” and what would I need to do as an employee to help the organisation achieving its goals. At least I had a hint here:

But what made me win the Student Employee of the Year  Award 2015 - Above campus and beyond was because I felt connected to the job. I was happy doing it! I worked with a smile in my face, and that is only possible love what you do.

             "The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it." Mother Teresa
             Therefore I needed to get to know BHF  first and have a hint on what it would be like to work there before applying for the job. The easiest way for me to figure it out was by looking in their website. This is where I looked:

              I saw some videos of previous volunteers and I really felt connected to the job: “Help fight for every heart bit”. Of course I wanted to be part of this! So then on the next day I went there and applied for it. And that was how my journey at BHF started. =D

This is one of the videos you can find in BHF channel on youtube

            One advice that I can give for anyone willing to do a volunteer work or any other kind of work is: be proactive! Of course sometimes you have to have someone telling you what to do, but when you are a volunteer you have to make yourself useful. When someone teach you something, try to learn fast and make yourself useful. Don't wait anyone to ask you to do things, be present, show yourself, ask if someone needs help... Be remembered!

             Isn't it GREAT when people miss you?? Isn't it GREAT when people ask where you are and even call to ask when you come back?  Isn't it great when you MAKE A DIFFERENCE?? Yes!! Even better is when with only two weeks of work you already is considered part of the team! :)

             This is when I earned the badge with my name on it after two weeks of work :)

            One thing is for sure: no one is going to make you help! You have to have the motivation within yourself and you have to be proactive to look for ways to contribute! However, be careful, if you are too much proactive at some point you will be asked: “You are not earning for this, why are you doing so much?” This was another volunteer that worked there full time asking and my answer for that was:

         "I could be at my home, probably sleeping, since I only work in the mornings. However, since I can't work here full time I want to make this short time here worth it. I want to learn. And I am happy with it! Are you not?" The person who asked me that question replied: "No. I can't wait for my shift to end!" I felt sad and was to busy to ask what was she doing there then? 

              My hands were dirty because I was bringing more and more items from the stock to the shop floor. I climbed up and down the stairs bringing mirrors, vases and all king of objects. I used the cleaning materials to make them all shining and was probably stinky because of it. But I was happy. 

                 I was happy because I saw a woman buying the plate that I had just brought from the stock, polished and placed it carefully in a strategic place. I was happy because later I saw a guy buying the mirror that I carefully hanged in the wall with the right height for him to look at himself. I was happy every time when I saw someone buying something that I helped bringing into the store. I was happy because I was helping the store to achieve its sales goal of the day. I was happy because felt part of the team! I was happy because I was fighting for every heart bit. :)

Mandy and Sue, my mentors at BHF

              If you didn't connect with the volunteering in BHF, what about looking in Sheffield Hallam Student Union website, there are many other opportunities.

  "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

Friday, 3 July 2015

Student Ambassador

Green Shirt is beautiful.. but I think I also look good in Blue!!

                    Working as an student ambassador was very cool. Student ambassadors are recruited from across the University to work alongside staff to support open days. I supported an open day at SHU!! I had to give to the potential students instructions on where to go, how to find University buildings and accommodations. Basically answer any questions they had.

Me and Lee Sherrie

               Me and my friend Lee Sherrie stood in a corner of a Parking lot. People asked REALLY anything: the easiest way to earn money, the lottery number for the day, who was the first men to walk the moon, the capital of Peru and so on.. but of course they were making fun! hehe And even a guy asked me "Is this real life?" Apparently he thought he was dreaming or something.
             The highlight of that day, though, was a guy that was working on that high building that you can see in the picture below. He came where I was to give me a chocolate after 7 hours I was there. He said that he watched me working all day long smiling and greeting people. I don't know if he could see me smile from up there or what, but I felt awesome!! It was unbelievable that my work was recognized from so far!!

Chocolate that the guy gave me
                     The second day was a little bit tricky. In the first day I actually had a sun burn because the sun was so strong and I had forgotten to use the sunblock. However, in the second day I remembered to put the sunblock. Guess what? It rained!! 

 Me and my friend Lee Sherrie in the rain

                  Even though it was raining, we kept our smile and helped a lot of people on that day. We posted this picture on facebook and then my friend Roydon saw it. Before that he was feeling depressed because he was also working in the rain in another place, near the train station. He said that after he saw my publication he felt way happier because he realized that he was not the only one working in the rain. He thought that if I was enjoying that time, he should also!

Look who I found on this working day!! James Beighton

                 Did you ever make any colleague feel better about a project or a work because you inspired them??

          Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to dance in the rain!