Former A Level Maths, Physics and Geography student Olli talks about his experience at Callywith and studying Civil Engineering at Swansea University.

Previous School: Sir James Smith Community School

Courses studied: A Level Maths, Physics and Geography

Extra Activities: Rugby Academy

Progression: Civil Engineering - Swansea University

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

My time at university prior to lockdown was great! Lectures and lab session were constant and non-stop, I was able to design and test my own bridge in one lab session. Having to adapt to online lectures due to lockdown was a challenge, especially with the increasing amount of work and complexity of the work, however, uni lectures and mentors have tried to make it as easy as possible.

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/ transition to university?

Speaking to friends at uni, it’s clear that the way in which students are taught and treated whilst they are at Callywith really gives a helping hand in the transition to uni. Being treated as a young adult and having to do additional work in ‘free’ periods really makes life at uni easier, you always have more work to be cracking on with at uni.

Why did you choose to study Civil Engineering at university?

I chose to do Civil Engineering at uni, as I was fascinated by how structures were able to stand so tall and withstand all sorts of forces acting on them without collapsing. Knowing how to design structural elements which one day will be used in the construction of a skyscraper or bridge is exciting!

How have your A Level studies helped you in your degree?

I enjoyed A Level Maths at Callywith, as there was always something new to focus on. The lessons were engaging and constantly had a focus on practise questions, the weekly assignments, although tough, really helped with understanding the recently taught material and helped a lot when it came down to exam revision. The assignments also helped a lot with the uni transition, having just a week to complete and hand in the assignment made you manage and balance your time well, which is key whilst at uni.

My A Levels gave me a broad understanding of how forces work and how simple maths can be adapted and used to create super structures. The broad range of material taught, gave me an edge over my course mates as I already had a basic understanding of what we were learning about, many of them found themselves having to do additional work just to get a grasp of what we were being taught.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future, I am looking to do a masters and hopefully become a Chartered Civil Engineer. I hope to be part of team that is developing new methods of construction which help mitigate the effects of earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as help the environment by using more sustainable materials and resources.