Cohort: 3 - First Year Undergraduate
When I was planning what to do after school I was considering applying to Oxbridge, US scholarships, and UK based degree apprenticeships - all for Engineering/Computer Science. I chose The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology because it offered me a degree taught by lecturers from one of the best universities in the country while working on real engineering projects - and I get paid while doing it which takes the pressure off my parents to support me. I feel I can have more impact and learn more here than studying at a traditional university.
I found relocating for a degree apprenticeship fairly easy. As I'm from Bath, I didn't have to move very far. However, from talking to others who moved much further, they found as did I that Dyson was really supportive of the adjustment period and kept us very busy over the first few weeks. Dyson Village is homely. In addition to being very futuristic and modern, the community that lives here is great. There's always something going on. I've stayed with lots of friends at university halls since joining, and I've found our accommodation is much bigger, more homely and also costs less too! There is a lot more to do here than expected! There is a good community and lots of local clubs I have have joined such as football and boxing. The Dyson social-life is also good with lots of regular sports tournaments, events and things to get involved with to keep you busy. It's very different to living in a city like Bristol, but, if that's something you want it's very doable to move out in second year and commute by either driving to taking the company buses. Student life at The Dyson Institute is much better than I initially expected. It may seem daunting to study and work, while still finding time to have a student social life, but it's much easier than I thought. We regularly visit Bristol and Bath for days/evenings out, go on group trips out, visit friends, and I'm already planning holidays for next year including the annual Ski Trip run by students. Having academic holidays and work leave throughout the year allows us to plan when we want a break and having more disposable income than a typical student helps. On top of this, there are lots of student societies, sports teams, and Dyson-wide clubs to get involved with.
The biggest surprise about The Dyson Institute was the amount of responsibility I received from day one. We all work hard but in return we get to be involved with lots of really exciting projects and activities. Responsibility doesn't equal stress. I feel like I can contribute a lot already without feeling overwhelmed. I'm not treated as an intern/work experience and feel like I can add real value to the team I'm working with. It's a very supportive place while being positively challenging. I've only been in one team so far but they are all really welcoming and I don't feel like I'm in a stressful environment. I'm being pushed to learn new things and I feel in a position to contribute to the whole team. The learning experience is also very different from normal lectures as the sessions have fewer students. We can easily ask a question during the lectures and have a group discussion which I find helps me learn better. There is far more opportunity for discussion.
Student support is exceptional - the well-being days are unique and show that The Dyson Institute is passionate about student well-being. Regular catch-up sessions with our cohort's support staff are great to help work out any issues and also a great opportunity for self-refection.