After being home-schooled for the majority
of his education, Lee Tobin's first taste of the formal education system came
when he studied for a BTEC Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment
(Building Services Engineering) at City of Westminster College. He quickly
demonstrated his potential, graduating with a double distinction.
"My BTEC confirmed that a career in
building services engineering was the right direction for me," says Lee. "I
took a year out between finishing the course and starting at university, but
there was never any doubt for me about where I wanted to study – LSBU."
Lee's determination to study at LSBU was a
combination of various factors. "Lots of people at my college talked about LSBU
as a great place to study for a degree," he says, "and it was within commuting
distance of my family home. Most importantly though, LSBU has a great
reputation within the industry."
LSBU is a world-leading institution for building
services engineering education, and around half of those working as consultants
in the field have passed through the university.
Now into his second year on the BEng (Hons) Building Services Engineering, Lee
can see why LSBU is held in such high regard. "The lecturing staff are
internationally recognised, so I know that my degree will carry a lot of weight
when I graduate," he says. "They have been extremely supportive and helpful
too, and they have put a lot of effort into sourcing opportunities for students
on the course."
It's those opportunities that Lee is hoping
to make the most of as he pursues his dream of moving into engineering
consultancy. "Many companies contact LSBU looking for graduates or work
placement students, which makes it much easier to enter the industry," he says.
"There are lots of chances to make contacts and network – in fact, I had a
one-week plant room tour with a maintenance department in a large building that
came about thanks to a contact I made through group study on the course."
There's little doubt that Lee is thoroughly
enjoying his time at LSBU, and he feels that his higher education journey might not end when
he graduates. "My short-term goal is to work in engineering consultancy and
work in the field, but I'll always want to remain actively involved with LSBU,"
he says. "Longer-term, my goal is to invest heavily in education to help me
become the best engineer I can be, but I haven't decided whether I want to
study a wide range of skills to a good level, or focus on one specific skill
and taking myself through to PhD level."