Much has happened in my life over the last few years and on reflection I feel that securing my place at CTC Aviation has somewhat overshadowed what had been - University. The up and coming journey at CTC Aviation will certainly be a great one if the feedback from past cadets is to go by, but my time at university is something I will cherish forever!
Starting in 2012 I enrolled at the University of the West of England on their 'Enterprise Computing' course and over the four years that followed I had the opportunity to form some of the strongest friendships I have ever had and just in case they're reading, you should know who you are without me needing to even mention your name. But.. an extra special shoutout goes to Megan & Katy for their support during certain moments.
First year brought with it freshers week and I can safely say that the local Sainsbury's made a killing in sale of alcohol and mixers. When we weren't studying or drinking we were far too busy having ridiculously huge domino's binges, covering each others rooms in tinfoil/clingfilm or perhaps just turning them upside down altogether, having disney marathons, dressing up as where's wally and spending all of our student maintenance loans. As you may have already guessed by this point, not a huge amount of work went on in first year at least when compared with final year!
USA / Camp America / Travels
Between first and second year I took part in Camp America for the second time and pushed myself further than I ever had before. Man, those children were hard work but for their mischief they were great fun to be around. The US also provided me with an awesome travel opportunity with a great bunch of people.. it's just a shame the majority of them are in completely different time zones!
After a summer in the states came second year and it was certainly a step up work wise but we still found the time to dress up in onesies, go out for curry and host house parties. But not all at once as that'd deserve a degree in itself! I'll always remember the parties as with thanks to the party-a-holic housemates - seriously, they loved them - the drinks were aplenty and you could always count on a certain lady to scream out the words to Sean Paul. Oh, and no house party was complete without dancing on sofas, slipping over on the decking or beer pong. Needless to say, 176 Filton Avenue was great. Well, it was great until the last night when we lost everything. Yep. We were burgled. Moral of the story here, buy contents insurance! Laptops, TVs, Game Consoles and even cars were taken, of which I had only owned mine a week! It was eventually found and written off - poor thing - so I had to buy a new one and pay the price in premiums ever since... *cry*.
Third Year - Placement Year @ Microsoft
As my degree incorporated a placement year I had to find a job!! Well, I was incredibly lucky and shocked to find out that I'd passed all interviews and assessments for an internship at Microsoft. Running from July 2014 to July 2015, my third year as a student couldn't have been more eventful. If you're a uni student currently doing any degree discipline and want a placement year I'd highly recommend checking out Microsoft as an employer on Be Your Future or Rate My Placement. You won't regret it!
I got to experience so many different things that year and was given responsibility of parts of a corporate organisation that I would have never have thought a 20/21 year old would be given. I would like to thank Jacqui Lloyd for leading such an amazing program for undergrads and Erica Lawrie for being a brilliant and supportive manager. I also want to give an even bigger shoutout to Joe, Zain and George & Alex for being amazing housemates, whether it were the fireworks, the ping pong, the endless BBQ's, playing games of isolation or simply the constant laughs we had, it was a great year!!
Sadly, everything returned to reality much sooner than I would have hoped. Here's some pics.
D I S S E R T A T I O N
The dissertation, that one thing everyone dreads about final year. That huge document that meant we actually needed to knuckle down and do work. All of my friends from first and second year had already graduated as they didn't complete placement years therefore meaning the social side somewhat took a back seat. In hindsight, however, them not being around was probably a large contributor to my grade in final year. I still made up for it though by visiting friends if they weren't working and having the occasional trip in to town with the housemates for a game of table tennis, foosball or retro video games at Kongs Bar! -- I loved that place.
Doing a computing degree meant my final year project consisted of thousands of lines of code and over 18,000 words of report. It was safe to say I was pleased to see the back of it!!
When not studying I managed to secure a job at Bristol Airport as a Dispatcher which has certainly given me an insight in to the operations of the airline world. It was certainly an appropriate job given the path now ahead of me!
University ended in late April of 2016 and I had to wait a nail biting month to find out my final grade.
I was so so happy to see I'd secured a First Class degree. I did it, I actually did it!
Back when I was 16/17 I didn't fancy the idea of university so if you were to have told my 16/17 year old self that not only would I attend, but that I would leave with a First Class he would have never had believe you. Yet, here I am!
Today, on Thursday 21st July 2016, I officially became a Bachelor of Science in Enterprise Computing. Wearing the gown and hat felt surreal and I don't know about anyone else but I felt a little sad when they took it from me. Why can't we still dress in that way? I bet the olden days were cool with all that fancy attire. :-(
So, it's without further ado that I raise a glass to my family, my friends - including those at home (Ryan, James & Adam), the siblings and friends of those friends I know, my work colleagues in Microsoft and Swissport, the lecturers at University, my partner Kai and anyone else I've forgotten to mention, to say thanks for your support in supporting me along this journey.
Apologies for the selfie, but I'm enjoying this moment. George Botley BSc. (Has a cool ring to it).
George, out! xx