James Merritt, BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering, employer sponsored study
James was recommended his course by his manager and is now balancing part-time study at London South Bank University with his work commitments
James is studying the BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering part-time and working full-time for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as an Automation Engineer. He helps deliver new projects and new machinery, as well as providing support to technicians working with existing processes.
James wanted to gain a degree that was accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, as this qualification is a step towards chartered engineer status, as well as helping to progress his career with GSK.
"I was recommended this course by my current boss who had graduated from it a couple of years before I started. I wanted to study, GSK were happy for me to do it, and they pushed as much as I pushed for me to get on the programme," said James.
Some modules link very well with his current position, which was a factor in his decision to choose LSBU too.
His employers have been very supportive, and although the balance is tricky, James is finding time to complete his projects. It helps that the course is one full day a week, so his time is blocked out and he only has to commute into campus once a week.
The course has proved to be a good mix for James, with his time split fifty-fifty between lectures and working in the labs. "The labs have got all the equipment I need," he said, "It's easy to get access to computers – it's useful that all the computers on the top floor of the Learning and Resources Centre have specialist programmes installed."
As a part-time student James has found the online course notes and Moodle Virtual Learning Environment particularly useful – he can study at home, anytime – something valuable to him as he is raising a young family.
There are some excellent lecturers here that take time to explain the topics until you understand completely.
"My project supervisor has been more than happy to meet as and when to discuss my project when I need to, which is not always that easy because I'm only here on a Friday."
James is currently working with his project supervisor on his plan for his project – a graphical user interface for a Sudoku puzzle solving algorithm.