Pathway to Engineering - the profile of Mo-Anna Tucker

imageI am Mo-Anna Tucker, 18, from South Wales. I studied A-Level Maths, History and Economics and AS Level in English Literature at Neath Port Talbot College.

Why did you want to do the pathway to engineering course?

I had previously decided to apply for a different course in Economics, so I was looking at doing a foundation year as a way to get into engineering. The fact that the pathway to engineering course was three weeks and then I could go straight into my engineering degree was a bonus.
I also thought that it was such a great opportunity. When I did my GCSE’s, if I wasn’t getting A*s then I didn’t want to do that subject at A Level. I was technically better at Humanities so I chose those subjects when I applied to college. However, I regretted that when I ended up doing better in Sciences, as it meant that I couldn’t study engineering at University, I hadn’t previously thought about it as a career choice and how interesting it could be.

What did you gain from the course?

The first week was a mechanics recap. It was very challenging but I also felt excited to be working on such an interesting subject. I was ringing up my parents telling them how brilliant it was. We were given the opportunity to use the equipment in the Diamond, a state of the art teaching building for engineering, combining classroom teaching with going into the labs to carry out experiments such as tensile testing. The facilities at Sheffield are fantastic and the lecturers bring the subject to life as they are so passionate about engineering.

Would you recommend this pathway to other students?

I can’t stress how good this pathway course is. We don’t have a lot of time to decide the subjects we want to study at school, what we want to study at University and the careers we want to go into - therefore, a lot of young people change their minds about what they want to do.

This course opens up engineering as a possibility to students who didn’t take Physics at A Level. It’s such an interesting and broad subject with so many possibilities and it made me really excited to start my degree.

Did it prepare you for University life?

Definitely. We stayed at The Edge in Endcliffe in student accommodation, which gave us a taste of what it would be like when we moved up in September. I was able to go home at weekends so I felt like it eased us in to student life and it meant that we could familiarise ourselves with the city too. I felt more prepared and ready to start my degree and it made leaving home less of a shock!

I also made really good friends with the other students on the course - we lived together, had lessons together and spent time together in the evenings. We were all new to the city but we supported each other and we felt really fortunate to be able to get to know other people before the rest of the first year students arrived.

How did you hear about the course?

When I was having second thoughts about my choice of degree, I looked on the University of Sheffield’s website as I knew I didn't want to go anywhere else. I looked at Aerospace Engineering as that is what I was interested in, so I wanted to find out about the foundation year and whether they required physics. I saw the information on the pathway to engineering course on the website and ended up contacting the department about it. They got back to me the next day with lots of information and were incredibly helpful.

If this course wasn’t available at Sheffield what would you have done?

I would have done the foundation year at Sheffield and then gone on to the degree that way. I’m sure it’s a great way for lots of people but I was eager to start my degree course as soon as possible and the pathway course enabled me to do that.

Why did you choose Sheffield?

I always wanted to go to Sheffield - when you go to look round a University you just know. I loved the city. I looked at the courses and they seemed to be more suited to me and the range of courses they offered was interesting.

What are your future plans?

I didn’t realise how many opportunities there are for engineers - originally I wanted to work for British Airways, which is why I chose Aerospace. Rolls Royce also looks like a great company to work for. I’m thinking about potentially completing a Masters at Sheffield too.

What inspired you to study engineering?

I wanted to be an engineer for quite a while, it’s often in the news and seems like a really varied and interesting job. You can go into so many careers in engineering. I found Aerospace particularly fascinating as I have always been interesting in knowing how the mechanics of a plane work.

Further information

For more information visit both the Pathways to Engineering and Aerospace Engineering webpages