Former HND Mechanical Engineering student
Now working as a Senior Mechanical Engineer for Pick Everard
I'm Aidan McGhie, I am 29 and started at Kelvin College in 2014. This is where I studied NC Mechanical & Manufacturing, then HNC Mechanical Engineering, and finally HND Mechanical Engineering.
I left school aged 17 as I felt it was unenjoyable and did not enjoy being sat in a classroom learning about subjects which for the most part I did not enjoy. I applied for loads of jobs/apprenticeships but I didn’t manage to get any opportunities in months of searching. At this time, I was working for a charity which organised sports for kids in poverty-stricken areas and in my spare time I was an Army cadet attending the Royal Signals detachment in Georges Cross. The Army Cadets helped me to gain qualifications, experience and an interest in STEM subjects, an interest which eventually led to joining the Army Reserves. I joined the Royal Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) which gave me an insight to engineering and found that I had thoroughly enjoyed Mechanical Engineering and the sense of achievement gained by exploring and solving problems. This was what had spurred me on to look at a career in the engineering sector in the first place. Although looking back at my younger years, owning boxes of Lego and K’nex probably would have given me an earlier indication if I had thought about it.
Now realising my interest in engineering, I carried out some research online and applied for a few courses not knowing if I would even be considered. After a short period, I received invites to interview for various colleges around Glasgow and tried to use this opportunity to get a feel for the colleges, as much as they were looking to get a feel for me. After meeting two of the course lecturers, and seeing how enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate they were around the subject, Glasgow Kelvin College had immediately grabbed my attention. I was extremely excited receiving the call notifying me of my successful interview a few days later.
The Mechanical Engineering courses at Kelvin were really interesting and combined a mixture of practical and theoretical subjects giving us a good base of knowledge and set up for a variety of careers. I particularly enjoyed the graded unit. We were given a scenario as a small team and asked to create a solution to a larger problem which allowed us to incorporate the majority of we had learned on the course into one big project. It included performing research, developing the ideas and drawings to comply with the project parameters, carrying out calculations, building the product ourselves, testing it meets the criteria and reviewing the finished article. I found the application of everything quite exciting and a great way to assess our knowledge and skills at the end of the course.
Overall the course gave me the opportunity to do better for myself and set my career up for success. It laid the foundations which would be expected from working in the industry in a setting where mistakes were learning experiences. Also the college facilities are great, the mix of departments internally allows for knowledge and resource sharing which benefits the learners greatly. The lecturers were amazing, very engaging, professional, knowledgeable and compassionate.
Now I am Senior Mechanical Engineer working for Pick Everard, a multi-disciplinary consultancy in the built environment. Since College I have attended university and completed a bachelor’s degree with Honours. I am currently in my final year of a Master’s degree with an end goal of becoming a chartered engineer in 2024. I have specialised in thermal modelling and continue to train toward becoming an energy assessor. I have provided design and consultancy services for projects, both small scale and to major iconic developments, across a wide variety of sectors including retail, commercial, education, leisure and industrial.
If anyone is thinking of returning to education or applying to Kelvin College ..... Go for it! I do not regret it at all.
I would take the time to learn the way in which you learn and use that going forward.
I would always start work as soon as possible, delaying a challenging assignment makes it more stressful when you have a time pressure and a challenging assignment.
If you have a question, ask it. You lose nothing by asking!