Before applying to university, Anna took part in a Headstart course to get a better understanding of engineering subjects and careers. The Headstart course gave Anna a taster of university life before she went onto applying. Find out more about her experience below:
What made you apply for Headstart?
I applied to Headstart as a way to understand more about engineering before I applied to a degree course. I wanted to have more of an understanding of what the work would be based on, and what it would be like, as well as what university feels like. I wanted to ensure that both engineering and university were for me before I committed myself to it.
What were your ambitions before the Headstart course?
I had no clear career ambitions, however before the course I knew that engineering was something that I was really interested in and had been that way since I was very young (since my grandfather had been explaining things to me from a very young age). I was fairly sure that a future and a degree in engineering were what I was suited to and the ambitions that I did have were to go and study this at university.
Explain your challenges along the way (at school, blockers, no encouragement).
On two separate occasions I had members of staff at the school tell me that I would not succeed in engineering – this included my physics teacher and my head of Sixth form. They did not help me in making my ambition come true or help me understand what engineering involved (both in terms of studying and as a career). This was never really explained to me at school, instead I relied on my own research and using companies like EDT to gain a better understanding.
What advantages do you think the Headstart programme gave you?
Headstart firstly gave me the courage in my convictions that I was both interested in and capable of studying and succeeding in engineering. It highlighted to me some areas I would have to work on before applying and attending university, but also showed me that I was much more capable than I had given myself credit for which then made applying to university courses much less stressful as I had the confidence I needed in both my personal statement and in interviews. It also gave me a taster of university life making the transition later on slightly easier.
Would you recommend Headstart to others?
I would absolutely recommend Headstart to anyone contemplating a career or degree in engineering and would really help them gain a better understanding of what this future could look like for them – everyone’s future as an engineer is slightly different, making it one of the most interesting and diverse career paths in my opinion.
Where are you now/studying and your future pathway?
I am currently in my third year at the University of Manchester studying Mechanical Engineering – my subject focus is currently with Biomedical Engineering and Tissue Engineering.