Cohort: 2 - Second Year Undergraduate
My plan was to go to university to study mechanical engineering. But before this I wanted to take a gap year where I would travel then work a few months in the engineering industry. However, I chose The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology because it was an eye opener into the world of engineering. It was an opportunity for me to explore what engineering meant to me and where I wanted to take my skills to in the future.
I always planned to move out after A-levels so I found life away from home quite easy. Although receiving some free cooking lessons from Joe Croane, head chef at Dyson, allowed me to explore more cooking techniques which has aided my cooking skills. In first year, we all get to live in the Dyson Village - on campus accommodation for the first year Undergraduates. It is a place like no other, the designs are very modern yet the place is still snug and cosy. The spaces are created so that you can have your own personal space in your pod and yet have communal spaces to socialise. The pods are all unique which is unlike any other university. I found relocating to the Malmesbury countryside very different to back home (especially since I moved from a large city), but since moving into Bristol after my first year, the student life has been amazing and the Dyson bus service allows me to commute with ease.
The biggest surprise about The Dyson Institute is how friendly the culture is. The staff treat us more like friends than anything else which makes communication easy and comfortable. Furthermore, student support is exceptional here, whatever problem you have there is a person to help you with so many points of contact - whether in the workplace, academics or well-being. Even if you do not have a direct problem there is staff that ensure your well-being is at top form. The coaching from the staff is personal too which you just wouldn't get at a regular university We really put mental health first at Dyson and it shows. The work/study balance may seem daunting at first but there is so much support to help aid the work and study balance. After a while you get the hang of your priorities and it feels like clockwork. Initially I was worried about entering a workplace where everyone was an expert in their field. It was my first experience of the working world of engineering so I was unsure of what to expect. But because Dyson is such a young company, it is very easy to get along with people and find things in common. It is easy to contact colleagues at work which has allowed me to build a fantastic network.
Being a relatively small institute, social life initially seemed very quiet, but as the year progressed and people came out of there shell the social scene at the institute proved to be very unique. The small cohort sizes (about 40 in each year group) allow us to get to know each other really quickly and organise fun social events (paid for by our social fund!
Finally, not paying tuition fees and earning a salary is amazing! It allows me to be a step forward in the working world. It allows me to also manage my finances from an early age which people at university may not have the opportunity of having. In addition to this I will not be in debt when I graduate!