Katrina completed her A-Levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry after leaving school and progressed into an apprenticeship with Solihull College & University Centre and Atkins, one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies.
Katrina commented “I’ve always wanted to do further studies and get a degree but an apprenticeship appealed to me more than just university as then I’m able to learn and earn at the same time.”
As the College already have an established partnership with Atkins, Katrina could start straight on to the Higher National Certificate (HNC) programme at the College. She was able to continue working whilst gaining a formal qualification and gaining the valuable work experience that would help her in her future career.
Katrina adds “The best part of the course is learning about how the industry works and how contracts work as this relates to work that I do in the office. It gives me a clearer and more detailed understanding of how engineering companies work.”
Balancing work and studies can prove difficult; however Katrina’s hard work ethic proved that she was determined to succeed. “I have to be strict in myself when I get home from work and at the weekends as instead of being able to relax, I have to get on with college work.”
Katrina’s hard work has paid off as she has received the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) QUEST Technician Scholarship for the West Midlands. Katrina comments “I feel very honoured to be awarded Technician Status. It means a lot to me to be recognised as a strong female in the engineering community and it is a great start to my engineering career.”
This is the second year in a row that Solihull College & University Centre students have received such an award. To apply for the scholarship students must be studying towards an engineering qualification in the UK that could lead to technician membership with the ICE. The QUEST scholarships are a sign of excellence and being recognised by ICE is a great achievement for the students.
Katrina explains that her aim is to become a civil or structural engineer. “After the HNC I plan to study Civil Engineering part-time at university. Whilst doing all this I hope to achieve my EngTech and work my way up to becoming chartered.”
The College is extremely proud of Katrina’s achievements within the field.