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Case Study

Shannon Naylor


Shannon Naylor came to the University of Sunderland on a Pathways to Engineering Degree after being encouraged by a helpful member of staff. Recent investment in facilities and his placement at Mott MacDonald in York have confirmed that studying at the University of Sunderland was the right choice.

When I left school, I opted to do an electrical apprenticeship rather than continuing onto sixth form or full-time college. The apprenticeship meant I attended college one day a week and worked on a building site the rest of the week. When I approached the end of the apprenticeship I decided that I would like to further my education, but due to not having A levels or completing an access course, I wasn’t too sure what routes were available to me.

After contacting numerous universities and exploring my options, I found the University of Sunderland to be the most appealing route. Sunderland stood out for me as they were the most helpful in dealing with my enquiry. When contacting the University, I was directed to the head of the engineering department. I explained to him a little about my background and what I hoped to achieve long-term. He was extremely helpful; he gave me a clear overview of the courses available and answered all my questions in great depth. He advised me to enrol on a Pathways to Engineering Degree as this included an integrated foundation year.

He explained how the foundation year would prepare me for my degree, develop my academic skills and offer me a good introduction to the university environment. At a time when I was quite nervous he made me feel at ease and helped the transition from working on a building site to a university environment run smoothly.

I have enjoyed many aspects of the course, particularly the variety of topics I have been introduced to – I am now more aware of the different subjects in the electrical and electronic engineering field. This makes deciding what to do next that little bit more challenging and exciting as I don’t know which subject I favour the most.

Also, with the recent renovation of the electrical labs, it is evident a lot of money has been invested in this department and it is now a matter of utilising these facilities. For me, it confirms how the course has gone from strength to strength. I enrolled here in 2013 and in this short time, there have been multiple changes and developments all in the right direction.

It is very much an open-door policy with the lecturers. If I have any issues or if I want to make any suggestions they listen and are always happy to help.

My placement at Mott MacDonald has changed how I apply myself towards my studies. My mind-set has since changed – I treat University as if I was still on placement. I dedicate a lot more time to self-study and researching topics in comparison to previous years. I am reaping the benefits of this as I am feeling a lot more confident in myself and I can see I am making good progress in various areas of the course. The placement has prepared and helped me in two modules in particular, Project Engineering Management and ENX313 project. Both these modules require you to manage and plan your time effectively, these are two skills I drastically improved whilst on placement."

 

Published 23 November 2017

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