Emma Pajak, Undergraduate, Chemical Engineering

“I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity”

Being an openly gay woman in engineering, I am passionate about representation. A phrase that sits with me is, ‘you can’t be it if you can’t see it’. I feel it is important, for those who feel comfortable doing so to share experiences and support those around us. I hope sharing my experience might inspire others to take pride in their identity. 

When I was applying to university, I was really keen to base my decision on where I wanted to apply on a logical, methodical thought process – criteria like great facilities. I decided to attend an open day here at Imperial and, whilst it ticked off a lot of these criteria, it was the overall vibe and atmosphere that hit almost instantaneously – I knew I could see myself studying here. Fast forward to now, and I’m in my third year studying Chemical Engineering here at Imperial.  

I am often asked, “What exactly is chemical engineering?” Whilst my answer to this question has certainly improved over the years, I am still learning about what it entails and has to offer! The course covers a vast variety of modules and as you progress through projects you find that you can utilise your knowledge across these subject areas to produce some pretty impressive solutions. Chemical engineering is all about using raw materials to create useful products.  

Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community is so vitally important. Imperial is a fantastically diverse community and, as with any community, we must welcome, celebrate, and support our peers! It is especially important to have great allies supporting us. And whilst that can sound a bit complicated, it is all about listening, being open to learning and being visible in your support (see more here if you’re interested!) 

For anybody thinking about studying at Imperial and joining our amazing community I would recommend trying to immerse yourself as much as possible. Check out the union website to find which clubs and societies you might be interested in. I’d recommend IQ – Imperial College LGBT+ who hold a whole host of cool events for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

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