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Opening up pathways with Headstart

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Applying to a Headstart course enabled Jojo to find out more about engineering, as well as experience university life first-hand.

What made you apply for Headstart?

When I booked my Headstart course I knew I wanted to have a career in STEM but I felt like there were loads of different, interesting options and I wasn’t sure how to choose. Applying to Headstart was a way to experience STEM directly in a university setting to help me make my decision.

Explain your challenges along the way (at school, blockers, no encouragement)

The biggest challenge has probably been overcoming the perceptions of what engineering is. Most of the Google image results for “engineer” are somebody wearing a hard hat. That was not a job I saw myself doing, but when I researched engineering and discovered how it combines science and creativity to solve real problems I realised the perceptions I had were wrong.

What advantages do you think the Headstart​ ​ programme gave you?

Headstart was really inspiring and led me in the right direction. I chose a broad-based engineering course which meant I experienced many different branches of engineering throughout the week. This convinced me that engineering is for me. Also the practical activities like programming sumo-wrestling robots developed personal and engineering, skills which I have talked about in my personal statement and applications I have since made.

Would you recommend Headstart to others?

Absolutely! As well as the academic side I also had a great time getting the university experience in Sheffield such as staying in halls and sports etc. My favourite part of Headstart was spending a week with like-minded people who are all together with a shared interest in STEM.

Where are you now/studying and your future pathway?

After my A Levels, I am having a gap year / year in industry. I have an internship at Cambridge Medical Robotics and some time to go travelling afterwards. Then I will go to university to study engineering - I have offers from Oxford, Sheffield and Leeds.

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