Outstanding Scholar Jack is Preparing to Study Engineering at University

Jack joined Sedbergh at the start of year 12 and has lost no time establishing himself as role model of the values that define Sedbergh: humility, ambition, resilience and kindness. His goal is to study engineering at Imperial College in London.

What A levels are you studying?

Maths, further maths, physics and chemistry and I finished my Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) on Green Engineering in the Transport Sector in March. My EPQ explored HS2, electric vehicles, and the potential for hydrogen powered motors. I’m quite interested in civil engineering or mechanical engineering – I’m undecided on exactly which – but I wanted to do something [for my EPQ] that would fit the university course that I’ll be applying for.

What is your dream for university?

Ideally Imperial College, London, that’s where I see myself. I’m also looking at Oxbridge – either Oxford or Cambridge and I’m currently preparing for the entry exams which are slightly different so I need to decide which exam I’m more likely to do well on to give myself the best opportunity for success.

Is engineering something you’ve always wanted to do?

Not really, I began by being interested in architecture because I saw a few buildings made into houses and I like looking at plans and looking at how things are going to develop. However, I moved away from the design and I started looking at the maths and sciences behind it and that’s how engineering became my preferred career path; I realized that architecture is really great but I’m not as interested in the design, I’m more interested in the maths and the theory behind everything.

Henry Ford who is a bit of a role-model for me. Henry Ford is really inspiring – especially how he completely modernised the way manufacturing worked. He made vehicles accessible to his workers which is quite inspiring because he wasn’t motivated by money he was inspired by actually improving the industry and the quality of life of everyone, not just himself.

How is Sedbergh helping you to achieve your ambition?

We’ve had quite a few lectures over the year and while it might not be careers that I’m interested in they’ve really opened my eyes to what there is available and career paths.

I never thought that I’d be able to apply to Oxbridge but Sedbergh has really opened my eyes to being able to put as much effort as you want in and be able to go where you want to go. It’s just dependent upon yourself and how much you want to put in and commit to it. Sedbergh are helping me with that and I’m quite grateful. I also have Oxbridge mentors which Sedbergh has put in place for me.

The universities that you have chosen have extra requirements to obtain a place, do you have a strategy?

Yes, I’m currently having an Oxbridge session every week with two different physics mentors. We’re preparing for the entry exams and over summer [the end of year break] I’m definitely going to step that up because I’ve got to learn all of maths and physics for next year so I’m ready for my exam. That’s going to be tough but I’m quite good at managing my workload so I’m not going to find it too difficult in terms of workload but I need to keep preparing and preparing for my exams. I’m going to be looking at getting a tutor to help me though because I know it’ll be difficult learning next year’s content by myself. I will have a bit of a holiday, but I’m going to be doing a lot of maths!

I’m also doing activities with the School’s academic societies. I did a School of Athens debate on an engineering topic do with robotics and AI. I am also doing voluntary service related to my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award – I mentor year 9’s for the John Muir Award. I enjoy doing that because I quite like giving back; that’s an important lesson that Sedbergh has taught me. I think giving back is important and I like to give back in every way I can because I’ve been so grateful for the opportunities that Sedbergh has given me. I do athletics – running and swimming – quite a range of different sports. I attend debating [society] which is something that I enjoy and that I’d never done before I came to Sedbergh.

I’ve got quite a lot of reading that I’m doing too – I’ve got a big list to work through. It’s all engineering related; maths and physics. I enjoy that a lot; after prep I just switch off, read, completely detach myself from my work.

Do you think that taking on leadership roles at School has helped you?

Yes, I think so, it’s not lessons, it’s a way I can develop as a person. It’s the same as my John Muir mentoring that I’m doing for my voluntary service [Gold Duke of Edinburgh award]. I like leadership roles because I get to experience the kind of leadership that I might go on to do in the future. I have been one of my House representatives on the Academic Committee and I enjoy having some sort of say in the education that I’m gaining. I like working with the teachers as well to see how they run things too.

I would definitely recommend other students take on a leadership role. There are so many opportunities here at Sedbergh to take on leadership roles that I think everyone should go for it.

What do you do to keep yourself calm and relaxed during exam time?

Going to the gym and sport is a massive relief. It’s so great after a full day to go to games and do athletics or do a sprint session – you get to relieve all of your tension. You come back and you’re ready to work. Exercise helps a lot.

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