Sagynkul Yerkimbekova

Sagynkul, 22, born in Astana. In 2015 she graduated from the Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU), but before that in 2014 Sagynkul did a research at the Center for Green Technology in the University of Alabama (Dr. Robin Rogers laboratory) with the Foundation’s grant. She is an applications engineer at one of the oil service companies in Atyrau, West Kazakhstan.

1. Why did you choose chemistry as your speciality?

Back in school I liked exact sciences, especially chemistry. The school program covered only the basics of the subject and in order to explore the science even further I did a lot of reading, went to seminars, took courses, and participated in Olympiads, other competitions and conferences. During my junior and senior school years I started to develop interest in oil, gas and petrochemical industry. After the high school I enrolled to the School of Chemical Engineering in KBTU. I set myself a goal to get as much experience in my field and successfully graduate from the university. And I managed to do it.

2. What was the most difficult for you during about the competition?

Сollecting the documents to meet the deadline, I guess, since the timing coincided with my final exams at the university. It was also not so easy to pass the second and final rounds. It was a real challenge for me to prove to other people that I am worthy of the grant and to represent my country abroad.  But I was able to take on this challenge and be amongst the 10 lucky winners of the grant to do an internship in the US.

3. Besides the study and work, what other interesting things did you discover in the US?

I was very lucky with the people I worked and met on daily basis.  University staff and students were of different background, so it was very informative to learn the new cultures, a different worldview and attitude towards science. The most memorable moment was the Gordon Research Conference in Maine which gathered scientists from different international universities and representatives of chemical and oil and gas industries. It was interesting to learn about new chemical technologies in the industry, although the industry still uses the time-tested production models and technologies.

4. How would you evaluate the outcomes of your internship in the US?

The most instructive for me was to learn that virtually all Americans are on close terms with the time management; they always appreciate both your and their own time. In the end, after my internship, I became more organized and self-confident, and I enjoyed that experience. And now I am working as an applications engineer applying the skills in both fundamental and engineering chemistry that I honed during the study and internship in the States.

18.10.17, Stories

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