Meet top student Dhruva Ulavatti
PUBLISHED: 19:19 22 February 2014 | UPDATED: 08:49 06 March 2014
On Tonbridge, on winning a place at Cambridge at 17 and a future in engineering
Tell us about yourself My name is Dhruva Ulavatti, I’m 17 and have lived in Tonbridge for the past seven years. I go to the Judd School. My dad is a civil engineer and my mum is an IT consultant. I was born in Shimoga, India and we moved to England when I was seven years old.
What are you doing now? I am currently in Year 13, studying Maths (which I completed in Year 12 and achieved an A*), Further Maths, Physics, and Chemistry at A Level. I did Classical Civilisation at AS Level (Greek mythology and culture).
I got offers from all five of my university choices, and I am especially pleased about the ones from Imperial College London and Cambridge University.
I applied to do Aerospace Engineering at Bath, Bristol, Sheffield and Imperial, and Engineering at Cambridge.
It was very easy to accept the offer to read Engineering at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge; I worked very hard, all with the intention of getting into Cambridge. That is why I was so happy (and extremely relieved) when I got my offer letter, as I felt that all my hard work had paid off.
The course at Cambridge is general for the first two years, after which I can decide on the sector I wish to specialise in. This broad-base structure also means I can make a more informed decision, as I will have a better idea of my strengths and weaknesses.
I got into engineering from the age of 13, when I went to a careers talk at Judd. From then on I became increasingly interested in how things worked and wanted to actually understand the theories and concepts that I was learning at school, and how to apply them to solve real world problems.
Furthermore, maths and physics have always been my favourite and best subjects, and engineering is a perfect combination of them both.
Your plans when you graduate?
I have become quite interested in a career in Formula 1 and so when I graduate, I hope to go into that industry. Another field which is of interest is space, so maybe a career in the ESA or NASA. I would also like to gain a degree in psychology someday, as I have become interested in this field over the past few years.
What do you enjoy about living in Kent? Kent is a very practical place to live and Tonbridge especially, as I live very close to Judd, the high street and the train station.
Might you live and work abroad?
I definitely see myself living elsewhere in the world. I can stand the cold, but hate the rain! I am very tempted to live and work abroad after I graduate. I do not have any specific idea of where yet, but somewhere where I can earn a lot of money so that I am financially secure for later on in life.
What are your hobbies and interests? My main hobbies include Taekwondo. I am a red tag and have won a gold medal for sparring at national level. I am also part of the Judd School CCF (combined cadet force), which means I get to go on night exercises and do shooting. I enjoy the leadership opportunities it gives me.
I like watching TV, shows like Sherlock, The Big Bang Theory, and A Question of Sport. I enjoy watching and playing most sports, especially basketball and cricket.
What was the last book you read?
The House of Hades – Heroes of Olympus, by Rick Riordan. It’s like a young teenager’s book, part of a series I started when I was 12, so I have just kept up to date with the ones I enjoy. I like reading these kinds of novels as it allows me to relax and take my mind off other, more important things.