Kayla joined UTC Sheffield to study Engineering at City Centre and then went on to study Sport at Olympic Legacy Park. She is currently on a University Design placement at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) at Sheffield Hallam University.
Why did you join UTC Sheffield?
At my previous school, they removed the engineering course as it wasn’t popular. I heard about the UTC through word of mouth and someone I know recommended it to me. I liked the course and I learnt a lot during my time here, so I’m glad I studied at the UTC.
What did you enjoy most about the UTC?
I have a strong work ethic, so I enjoyed working independently here and felt that the UTC supported me with this. I liked the working environment and enjoyed using the health facilities at Olympic Legacy Park, as this was a great experience and helped me to develop my skills. If you wanted the advice and help from tutors, they were always there for you.
Tell us a bit about the AWRC
The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre focuses on improving health and wellbeing for the community. The facilities allow companies to come and develop their ideas in the Innovation Accelerator. These include a physical activity suite, clinical floor, emerging technologies hub and a human movement and performance lab. The building brings different disciplines together such as Engineering, Health, Sport and Computing.
How did you get your placement? What was the application/interview process like?
I originally applied for placements with CSER (Centre for Sport Engineering and Research), which involved filling out an application form. After this, I had two interviews with CSER that were successful. I was enthusiastic to gain further experience within CAD (Computer Aided Design) and asked around to see if there were any placements that involved this type of work. Luckily, I was offered one within the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, which I was so happy about. The company was very helpful and wanted me to follow my passion. The placements were competitive, so I’m proud to have come this far, and I’m glad that I’m doing a placement in something that I enjoy and want to progress in.
What are your main duties within your current role?
I’ve learnt how to use 3D printers and computer-aided design, which has refreshed my memory from what I learnt at the UTC. I am currently working on some exciting projects too, including designing a tennis racket. I’ve only been on my placement for around a week, so I’m still learning the basics of my job. Currently, I help with any jobs around the building, as I am enthusiastic to learn more about what this industry has to offer. I am keen to continue learning and put my skills that I’ve learnt from the UTC, into practice.
How does UTC Sheffield differ from other schools?
It’s more professional and I like how we are encouraged to be more independent in our work. I think studying here has helped me to grow up and become a more motivated individual.
Do you use any skills that you’ve gained from UTC Sheffield in your current role?
I want to go into Sport Engineering in the future, so the UTC has provided me with basic engineering skills that I am passionate about developing and has given me an advantage on my current course. I also feel more confident using the equipment and machines on placement, as I know the basics of how they work.
Have you got any standout moments at UTC Sheffield?
We had a lot of engineering trips during my time here, including a visit to Rolls-Royce, which was interesting and a great experience. I also ran a Sports Day, which involved organising the event and ensuring everything went smoothly on the day.
Do you think you would be where you are today if you hadn’t come to UTC Sheffield?
Studying at the UTC has helped me to learn lots about engineering, and I don’t think I would be so passionate about sport if I hadn’t studied it at the UTC. It’s provided me with independence and valuable skills which I hope to develop further in my future career.
What do you want to do in the future?
I’m hoping to do a Masters in Sport Engineering and I’m also interested in Equipment Design. I’m enthusiastic to keep building my experience and learning new skills to make me become more employable.