BTEC Higher Nationals Case Study: Stuart Munn
After leaving my trainee design engineer position, I was not sure what to do next. I have always enjoyed computing and had a fascination with technology from a young age. After much deliberation, I made the decision to return to college and continue my education by enrolling on a Higher National Diploma qualification at the Heart of Worcestershire College. For me, there was no other option and I knew I wanted to pursue this path further.
After completing my level 3 in IT at the age of 18, I left college and worked for a local technology company who created software for the blind and visually impaired. I worked in their shipping department dispatching customer orders from around the world, while also completing some admin and purchasing work.
I then moved on to working for a completely different company and industry. I worked for a local fire systems company specialising in fire sprinkler systems. I was a trainee design engineer, with my work consisting of using AutoCAD software to design electrical and mechanical schematics, sprinkler building layouts and pipework layouts.
HND was the right choice for me
Looking back at the two years I spent studying at the College, I can easily say that completing the HND course has brought out the best in me and I am more confident than I have ever been before.
The variety of activities that the course has provided, such as speaking in front of the class in group discussions and with making presentations, provided me with the knowledge and skills, and prepared me well for a career in the computing industry.
I am grateful for the support I received from all the staff within the Computing department for their support, they have helped push me to achieve the best I can during my time at the college and for that I am grateful.
Employability was built into the programme
At the start of my second year, I was fortunate enough to meet with a few local employers who had job opportunities available for students. Employers met with students at the college to have a chat about future prospects and also run through mock interviews to allow students to build up their confidence in front of employers.
I was lucky enough to get a position at a local IT company who support Primary schools across Worcestershire with their IT needs. Meeting with my now current employer was all made possible through the contacts at the College, and it has given me the opportunity to get a "foot in the door" with a local employer and for that I am very grateful.
For the foreseeable future, I plan to continue to build on my knowledge and skills with my current employer. Eventually, I would like to move into an IT management position and perhaps top up my HND up to a degree. I am open-minded to the possibilities ahead.
Make the most out of your time
My advice for any upcoming or current students is to make the most of the time you have at the College. Use the resources around you and work with your lecturers to help you complete your work.
There will be times during the course where it may seem tough, but please be assured that your lecturers will do their best to help you succeed. Give it everything you've got, and you can't go wrong.