Summer Atkinson – Level 3 IT – Software Application

Where did you go to school / college before coming to Darlington College?  

Before I came to Darlington College I went to St Johns School & Sixth Form in Bishop Auckland  

What attracted you to Darlington College?  

There were a few things that attracted me to Darlington College, these included the course. There were no colleges in the area which offered the software application course that Darlington did and delivered it in the same way. The open day I attended before I applied also attracted me, as Neil took the time to sit down with both me and my parents to discuss what was involved in the course, the college as a whole and listened to both my own and my parents’ concerns/worries based on my past.  

The main thing that attracted me however was the distance it was from my previous school, I had a very hard time at secondary as I was bullied. When it came to the end of year 11 I knew I wanted to continue with IT (which was a huge passion of mine) however I wanted to get further away from the people who knew me during that time. Everyone I went to school with either stayed on at school or went to Durham but I knew I wanted a fresh start so I chose Darlington College, it was one of the best decisions I made. The confidence I gained throughout my 2 years there would’ve been unimaginable to me before I started, it was worth the daily 1 hour 45-minute bus journey there and back.  

 What do you enjoy about your course? 

I enjoyed the structure of the lessons, there was a perfect mix of both practical and theory-based lessons. I definitely preferred some units more than others however each of my teachers were lovely and supportive throughout. A huge thing I enjoyed about my course was how supportive all the tutors in the IT department were. Neil was specifically supportive in helping me get prepared for my university course, even though it ended being slightly different to what I was studying at college.  

What are you career aspirations? 

My career aspirations changed towards my second year of my college course, I want to go into the music field now. The end goal is to get to a level of not only producing my own music but going all around the world with live musicians to ensure their live sound production is correct and the audience gets the best experience in terms of sound, regardless of where they are in the venue.  

What is the next step in your education or work?  

I have a conditional offer to go to York St John University in September to study music production 

How did the course prepare you for your next step?  

The course gave me the preparation I needed for higher academic study.  

What advice would you give to other students? 

My top piece of advice to other students would be when you go into college and your course, take it seriously. Make sure you give it your all and treat your tutors like real people as well. If you follow this, you will come out with more then you could ever expect.  

Along with this, it’s important to note, it’s ok to change your career aspirations and end goal at any point and even more than once, I was convinced I was going to become a game developer when I left secondary school. 2 years on and after my course, I know now that it’s music production I want to pursue. 

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