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Callum Jones

Mechanical Engineering - BEng (Hons)

Callum originally planned to take a gap year before attending university. However, he decided to put his travel plans on pause, and apply to university through Clearing. Whilst studying he learnt how to manage his studies and a part time job.

“I’ve always had a passion for creating and designing things, and thought engineering would be a good fit. I enjoy the challenge that problem solving presents, and I felt like it was right for me. I expected my course to be hands-on and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is a good mix of both practical and theoretical work.

I was inspired to study Mechanical Engineering after attending an engineering convention we had at college. I was instantly drawn to all the things that can be done with engineering.

One challenge I initially encountered at university was balancing having a part-time job whilst studying. I overcame this by planning out my time more efficiently, and establishing an agreement with my employer to have time off for more important deadlines. This meant my university work did not suffer but still allowed me to earn enough money to cover my finances.

Group work was a step out of my comfort zone as others can work in a different style to you, or the ways you’ve been used to working. However, I quickly learnt how to communicate effectively with people and find the best way to work for the group. Compromise is key.

I am most proud of my first year project. We spent weeks designing and building a catapult, but just couldn’t get it to work. Our team kept coming together to discuss the problems, communicating ideas, and planning different ways to fix the catapult. After a lot of trial and error we finally came up with a new design that worked, and we were filled with a mix of relief, excitement and general euphoria, knowing that all our hard work had eventually paid off.

My tutors offer regular drop in sessions and support, providing more guidance if necessary close to deadlines and exam seasons. Jagjit Sehra has been a key member of staff and was always on hand to help us work through the solutions to our problems, offering us a different perspective on how we could solve the obstacles we encountered in our projects.

I have gained many skills from my course, including effective communication and problem solving within a team. I have also gained valuable skills in using software such as CATIA and 2D design. These skills are highly valued in the engineering industry and is an advantage when applying for jobs or internships.

Since coming to BCU I feel that I have become much more independent and outspoken. This is partly due to living away from home and experiencing life in a new dynamic with different people. Living in student accommodation helped me to meet people and socialise more, rather than just stay in like I used to. Being at university makes you realise that social skills are just as important as academic skills.

Group projects have allowed my confidence to grow. I’ve learnt how to actively participate and share ideas. I’ve developed my organisational skills and am happy to say I manage my time more efficiently.

I’ve also learnt key life skills such as finding a place to live, organising house viewings and paying rent, things I never really thought about before university. I feel much more equipped for life after graduation because of this.

When I graduate I hope to get a job in aerospace engineering. My dream job would be to design engines for aeroplanes and rockets. My course has provided me with the skills I need to pursue a career in this field, as well as skills such as building a CV and cover letter.

To me, I AM BCU means support. Whether it is from tutors or classmates there is always someone to help if you need it.”

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