Michelle, Motor Vehicle Maintenance Level 3

Michelle was drawn to the course as many of her family members and friends are already in the motor vehicle industry. After attending a car drifting event with friends, she was inspired to join a Motor Vehicle course so that she could turn her passion into a career.

As a full-time carer to her young child, it was difficult to enrol on program at first, but the convenient location of the Banbury and Bicester College Banbury campus and arrangements with childcare meant that she was able to fit the course in around her other responsibilities. Although she lives locally, she knew that the demands of the course would be challenging, but she felt she needed to push herself to realise her ambitions.

Michelle enjoys the practical aspects of the course and likes learning about the mechanical operations of engines in particular. She says on the subject that, “It’s really complicated. There are so many moving parts and the fact that the engine has to be timed as well is really challenging but interesting.”

Michelle is hoping to soon apply the practical knowledge she has gained on the course in real-life work environments, having applied for a work-experience placement at the Banbury Car Clinic. “We can do work experience or apprenticeships, but I felt that it was better to do the work experience first and see how that fits in with my other responsibilities before jumping into an apprenticeship.” This kind of flexible support has been important for Michelle who adds that her “tutors are all really supportive and I can email them at any time. They’re really flexible and, if I have a problem or I didn’t understand something in class, I can always email them to ask them to go through something with me again or go in the next day and speak to them in person.”

Her work on the Activate Learner attributes has also been beneficial in helping her identify her strengths and weaknesses and stay motivated. She also receives lots of positive reports and feedback from her studies also, which certainly helps with motivation!

The long-term goal for Michelle is to be able to do, “a bit of both: drive drift cars and also understand the engineering behind them”. She also envisions working in a garage on road-going cars as an engaging and interesting means of employment after graduating from Activate Learning.