Josh is currently studying A-levels at UTC Oxfordshire. In September he plans to go to the University of Manchester to study chemical engineering.
What was the process you had to go through to get accepted into university?
“I had to apply through the usual UCAS process. I was then invited for an interview in Manchester. I was given a tour around the campus and then had an interview with the head of department to discuss what they expected of me. I also had to present myself to them, explaining why I think I’m suitable for the course.”
When does the course start and how long does it last?
“I have applied for a bachelor’s degree, which is for three years, but I can take an industrial placement which will add another year. It starts in September.”
Do you know what kinds of things you’ll be learning?
“Thermodynamics, flow rate and physics will be the focus. I will be told more on the course content once I start in September.”
What made you decide this was what you wanted to pursue?
“I like engineering as a whole and chemical engineering allows me to explore lots of different elements as it’s not really a single discipline subject. I knew I wanted to do chemical engineering and that isn’t really offered as an apprenticeship. That’s why I chose a university course instead. I also completed 12 weeks of work experience with Owen Mumford, a pharmaceutical engineering company, which helped me to decide this was a career path I liked.”
What are your plans after you have finished your university course?
“After I have completed a year in industry I hope they will take me on once I have finished my time at university. I hope to work towards becoming a chartered engineer after that.”
When did you join UTC Oxfordshire and what made you decide to join?
“I joined the UTC when it first opened. I chose to come here to study A-levels because it’s more specialised. I wasn’t interested in anything else; I knew that engineering was the route I wanted to go down. I knew the resources here would be more tailored to what I wanted to learn and the equipment would be better.”
Are you glad you decided to join the UTC and do you feel it has helped you prepare for your future?
“I’m very happy I came here. The school is good at teaching social skills as well as the knowledge needed for engineering. They teach you skills like interview techniques and how to present to a group, while helping you with the written side of things as well. I think a personal statement or CV will look better coming from this school as we know what employers are looking for because we have constant interaction with them throughout our time at the UTC. I like that some of the teachers have had previous industrial experience as they can bring outside knowledge to your studies. It also helps to contextualise what you’re learning.”