My first year at BCU

Katie Kay joined Birmingham City University in 2018 and is currently studying BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying. She's shared her experiences from her first year at university including what she has enjoyed and learnt so far.

My first year at BCU

What were your expectations before starting your first year at university?

Before starting university I was apprehensive about how I would adapt to the learning environment after being out of education for eight years. I wasn’t sure if it would be suited to me anymore as I had spent so long in a professional working environment.

How have you found the first few months of your university life?

My university experience has been unforgettable so far – I have met some great people and competed in two international construction competitions in Prague and Texas. I have learnt a lot about the industry and taken every opportunity that has been given to me.

What has been the most fun or interesting project you have been involved with?

The most interesting project I have worked on was the Contract Law Module. I found this the most interesting as this is an area that haven’t experienced in my career so far. Solomon Adjei was great at making the subject interesting and engaging and gave really great feedback on the progress of our final submission.

How to compete in an industry competition

Have you been on any course trips? If so, where have you been?

I visited Auburn University and Texas to compete in the ASC Design and Build International Competition. This was the highlight of my university experience so far – we won first place as the first all-female team in history. I also competed in the ASC Competition in Prague as part of the Auburn/BCU team which was also a great opportunity.

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Are there any projects or trips you are particularly looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the second year of university. I am currently working in summer placement in cost management which I feel has put me ahead in terms of preparation for year two. I hope to get involved in more competitions and make more memories!

Are you finding studying at university much different to college?

It's been six years since I studied at college however I do find the university experience to be a lot different. College is a good opportunity to study a range of subjects to find out what you enjoy the most which can be helpful in selecting your degree. I think it is really important to make sure that you enjoy what you are studying. This really helps in bringing out your best work and commitment to your studies.

What advice would you give to students who are starting university soon?

I'd say go for it! If you had told me when I was at school I would work in construction I would have laughed! The world of construction is forever changing and each role is so varied. You never stop learning! Make sure you understand what to expect from each of the courses when picking your course. There are some courses that I didn’t know about until the Open Day – this is a great opportunity to get a feel for the university and speak to the course leaders about what you hope to gain from your university experience.