Thomas Fairey, Computing Specialism
Why did you decide to move to the UTC?
I heard positive feedback about the UTC which persuaded me to have a look into the specialisms that I could potentially study there. I liked the fact you’re able to do what you want rather than just being forced to study certain subjects. Lots of things stood out to me, including the great facilities, friendly teachers and the interesting curriculum offers. It just seemed so much better than my previous school.
What subjects did you study at the UTC and did you enjoy them? Which was your favourite?
I studied Computing and IT which I loved. I really enjoyed working alongside the employers, as it gives you the real-life aspects of daily work life. Working with clients to meet their requirements prepares you for industry and gives you an idea of the sort of job you may want in the future.
Do you mind me asking what grades you received?
I got a D*, D in my Cambridge Technical Diploma in IT, A in Computer Science A-Level, A* in Qufaro CyberEPQ and A in Mathematics in Context.
How do you feel about your results?
I’d like to say that I’m very happy with my results and they are much better than I was expecting, after what I thought had been such a difficult year to navigate through. Thanks to my results, I have been offered the degree apprenticeship with Stagecoach where I will be a Junior Software Development working for a Software Engineering degree.
What did you enjoy most about studying at the UTC?
I recently did a two-week placement with Stagecoach, where I learnt about the business and developed my Computing knowledge. I’m thankful to the UTC for helping me to get this fantastic experience. I’d love to work for this employer in the future.
Do you have any favourite memories/stand out moments e.g. engagement with a certain project/employer?
For my Computing coursework, I worked with Stagecoach on a project, where I had to create a product using the skills I had learnt so far at the UTC. I worked with them creating an app that would be used by multiple operators throughout the entire country, which was a great experience.
How have you found lockdown – did you find it challenging or did you learn anything from it?
It was a learning experience. I developed my independence skills and the ability to use my own initiative whilst studying from home. This experience taught me how to research and manage my own time effectively, which are skills that employers look for.
What’s been your biggest achievement during your time at the UTC?
Being asked to run workshops at Sheffield Hallam University’s Cyber Security Conference, where I worked in a team, setting tasks for under 18-year-olds. This involved working collaboratively to design Computing challenges, which was so successful that we were asked to manage this again in subsequent years.
What are your next steps for the future? Do you have an idea of what career you want to pursue?
I’m enthusiastic about working within the IT and Computing industry, so I’ve recently been applying for some Degree Apprenticeships. I’m looking forward to my next steps and I’m passionate about learning more about the industry.
Do you think the UTC has prepared you well for your future?
Yes, it’s prepared me confidence-wise, and I have a better understanding of what I want to do as my future career, which is reassuring.
What skills/knowledge from the UTC have helped you reach your destination?
Before I joined the UTC, I didn’t know anything about coding and software engineering, whereas now I feel like I’ve learnt the basic skills in these areas. The UTC has helped me to understand what’s expected when working within the Computing sector, and my time here has improved my ability to communicate with lots of different people.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining the UTC to study Computing?
I would say book onto a tour; it’s useful to have a look around and see where you’ll be learning. All the staff members are incredibly friendly and will explain more about their specialism. It’s beneficial to communicate with current pupils and alumni, if possible, to get an insight into the student experience and what’s expected of you.