Charlotte Cowell

1. Briefly outline your journey from leaving school to where you are today

After doing my A Levels over 3 years, I went to Oxford Brookes University to study Computer Science. Due to poor health in sixth form, I started with a foundation course. This took a year, and I then began my degree. Although the content was interesting, I found myself getting restless with the course and started to look at employment. On a whim, I applied for the perfect job. I was surprised to get to interview and even more amazed to get the job. This timed well with the end of the academic year, so I deferred for a year in case the job fell through and found myself a temporary job in a local IT firm doing a huge variety of jobs. I have now been at my new job for almost a year and I’ve started finishing my degree through Open University, on a part time basis.   2. One piece of advice you would give your 16 year old self That it is ok to not do things in the way that your peers are, or to do things in a way that suit you. There is no right or wrong way to do anything and the only thing that matters is being happy and enjoying what you do.    3. Any stand-out moments of your progression from school to now (interviews, moving away from home etc.) The main stand out moment from school to now is getting my dream job at the first attempt of applying and not struggling at interview! I also moved up to the North East of England, living by myself. My confidence has improved a lot too – something that might seem small but I’m proud of.   4. Best and Worst parts of the job or course you are doing now My job can be varied and it really makes the most of the skills I have, pushing me to work as hard as I can. I don’t really feel there are any bad parts of the job… In terms of my degree, it is nice being able to work in my chosen field whilst doing my degree. I can put things into practice and the skills are transferrable.   5. Describe a normal day in your working or studying life Most days I wake up around 6:00 and get ready to start work at 7:00. I’m then at work for most of the day where each day is different but there’s usually a meeting or two during the day. When I get home, I have an hour or so of chill out time, then some dinner before sitting down for a few hours to do some university work. If I have time, I also do a bit of adhoc web designing for my previous work place. I then get an hour or so to chill out, do any jobs that need doing before going to bed!   6. Fondest memory from school Without a doubt, my fondest memory from school is the ongoing support I had from all staff that taught me. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the incredible support that I had whilst I was in sixth form.