Student life at the UTC – Manda Mulaya

By 15th November 2017Students Say
What is different at the UTC compared to a normal school?
A good thing about the UTC is that everyone here can do the same lessons but you are allowed to be independent – for example, in product design, all students can work independently and differently. There are more opportunities to be creative, which was lacking in my previous school. Here students can stand out through their own creativity and individuality!
What trips do you go on, and what do you think of them?
I recently went on the year 10 trip to RAF Scampton which was an eye-opener, learning about the history of the RAF – so much so that I will definitely remember the experience for a long time! Going on trips helps to merge the ‘real’ world with UTC life.
Normally when you start a new school you are with people that you don’t know. It was really good to go to RAF Scampton as you were put into groups with other people that you didn’t know too. It was a good way to open up and start to develop friendships with different people. We spent a lot of time learning to work as part of a team with new people, developing communication skills.
What do you do on/like about Wednesday afternoons?
I like the fact that every Wednesday afternoon at the UTC, they invite partner employees in to talk about their companies and their job roles. It’s good to get to speak to people who work in different companies to ask specific questions about what they do in their day to day work. You know that they will have the true answer to genuine questions, instead of it being a teacher reciting knowledge.
I also really enjoyed the Nicky Morgan event in September, as it gave us the opportunity to speak to girls who have decided to become engineers, which we wouldn’t have had the chance to do in another school. You don’t see that many engineering girls, so meeting them gives you the opportunity to find people who you can look up to, and can guide you in the industry later in life. It gave me a push in the right direction!
What do you like the most about the UTC?
I like the UTC, especially for fact that I don’t have to wear a tie! My previous school said that they offered the same opportunities as other schools, but I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak to future employers. I have more opportunities here than I ever have had before, and it’s a relief that we can prove to other girls and to other people that you can do what you want at the UTC, despite what other schools and parents may say. I like it here because I can be myself, be creative and learn new techniques.
How do you think the UTC will affect your career prospects?
In my old school, I didn’t feel like people knew what they wanted to do when they finished school. I was worried before that I might find it difficult to find a job – we all know that it is really hard to get a job at the moment!
Being here at the UTC, I am looking into jobs with future employers at a much younger age. This will open up many doors for me, because companies are coming here and watching how you are working. You might not know it at the time, but companies are asking staff about how we are performing because they might be interested in employing us or offering us a placement in the future. It’s a brilliant stepping stone for careers.
At other schools they don’t really help you with looking at what you want to do in the future – they mostly leave it up to you. Being here you get lots of help and an extra push which I didn’t have in my previous school. It’s definitely easier to get a job because we are actually seeing the real jobs and most of them are jobs that we didn’t even know about before.
If any girls do want to be engineers like I do, then coming here you soon find out that the boys are actually really caring and supportive. And don’t worry about what anyone else says about your dreams, because they can bring you down – you just need to believe in yourself!

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