From Bachelor of Engineering to Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

For Anna Josefine Sørensen it was a coincidence that she found out she could become an engineer. After taking a Bachelor of Engineering and some courses, she is now heading for the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering.

What made you decide to study engineering and choose the program of electro technology?
"It was really by chance that I found out that I could be an engineer. In my family we have always been very interested in music and also in communication," she explains.

When Josefine went to high school in Aarhus, she had a student job as editor, where she helped other students become better in communicating.  Josefine also had a colleague who knew her passion for music - and at the same time, her frustration of going to a concert where the sound was destroyed by the acoustics in the concert hall.
"You have to become an electrical engineer when you are so concerned about that stuff," he suggested, and told her about the Open House at the Engineering College.
"I then went to the Open House arrangement. It was a mixture of electro and medical engineering, and it was really fun and exciting to be able to work with technology in that way. Something which could be widely used applied in practice. But I still could not quite see the connection how to work with sound,"she says.
Although there is also an acoustic program in Aalborg, Josefine had already considered moving to Copenhagen to study, and found out that DTU offered the electrical engineer program.
At the time, she figured she would build loud speakers as a living.
"If the sound is poor, it must be because of the speaker, and so I just had to make the best speakers in the world. That was my goal, "she says with a smile.
Then what happened?
"I started at DTU on the 3 1/2 year Bachelor of Engineering. I remember that in high school I was pretty determined never to have mathematics again in my entire life. It meant nothing to me. But now I had thrown myself into this study without really relating to the fact that it is primarily mathematics that is in focus for most in this study.
Josefine took an initial access course in physics which included kinematics, mechanics and electronics.
"I really liked the other subjects, but the electronic part, I was not so fond of, and that's exactly what an electrical engineer does most. When I saw my schedule for the first semester and how much mathematichs there were, I thought that it would probably just be for a short period before I stopped again."
But you stayed anyway?
"Yes, because all of a sudden the mathematics was not only for the sake of the mathematics itself. I did’t have to prove the Pythagorean Theorem, which didn’t make any sense since he had already proven it himself. I would rather use it, and here I had the opportunity. The way to teach had so much in common with the way I learn and understand things. It was very applied. I had two hours of lectures, and then I went and figured out directly from theory to practice and was allowed to use it immediately. This procedure got things to stick."
the studies should turn out to be quite different from what she had expected and become a huge success. With an average score of 11.5 after the first semester Josefine got encouraged to continue her studies.
"I was totally overwhelmed of the fact that I could actually figure it out. But it was obviously due to the fact that you learned things with a purpose, and you were able to test it yourself right after. First you draw up your circuit, calculate all network nodes and find out what the amperages should be. The next day you go to the lab and build the circuit. You calculate the voltages of all of the amps that are flowing through, and then measure. I had estimated it should be 4.9 volts, and that it was.
It was pretty cool. This was how it all began. "

Tour de Acoustic
I had some mandatory electro courses and took basic acoustics on top. You get a fast intro to the different areas, a sort of 'tour de acoustics'. I got the feeling that all the different teachers think their particular area is the most amazing thing in the world, so of course it was inspiring. But what inspired me most of all was when Torsten Dau appeared. Until then I had both designed an amplifier in a simulating program and also built an amplifier for a gramophone, an RIAA-amplifier. So I figured that I had to deal with building loudspeakers, amplifiers or microphones or any of those electro-acoustic areas. But then Torsten Dau appeared and told us about sound perception. I had never imagined that you could actually work with that area, but this was exactly what I wanted. All of a sudden I could combine my basic interests, both the technical matters as well as the communication, the sound that surrounds us and the perception of it. It's something that really motivates me. When some of the most complex issues are disseminated so elegantly, and you think: "Aha .. I can figure it out as well!" Josefine laughs.

After some courses in basic acoustics, acoustic communication, auditory signal processing and building and room acoustics, Josefine went on an internship to get some practical experience and worked for half a year in development in one of the major hearing aid companies, GN Resound.
"What I see as a huge strength by taking the Bachelor of Engineering program is the internship.
In principle, you can stop after the 3 ½ years. Now, if you come out somewhere in the internship and it just clicks between you and them and you are offered a job, you have the opportunity to take it, because you have graduated. Getting out in an internship requires that you to combine everything you learned in your study, apply it in practice and be part of a working life as an engineer. It is a great way to get out and find out that you can actually use the training you have been working on.

The future
In August 2016 Josefine starts the last six months of her graduate program.
"The thesis of my Bachelor project was 'Perception of gaps and overlaps in conversational turn-taking', and I might continue with this, but I might also try to make it more interactive and get someone to act and observe the interaction, something about how to perceive conversations. "
What would you like you to do when you are finished? Would you like to work in a company again?
"It motivates me sitting and fiddling with things, implement it and then see it work. So in that way it could be fine to work in a development department in a company, for example in one of the major hearing aid companies.
At the same time I can also feel that there is something in what I have worked with in my Bachelor project which I find really exciting and I might be able to figure out something that might not have been discovered before. Since I was a child I thought it could be fun to be a scientist and then I also often thought it would be fun to teach, which I also did a bit when I worked as an editor and guided other students in communication. So in that way it would make sense to apply for a Phd," Josefine says and then continues after a small reflection:
"But one option does not exclude another, all options are open."

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