Leah Dean studied BTEC Extended Diploma in IT Software Development at Salford City College and was awarded BTEC IT and Computing Student of the Year 2017. We went up to Lancaster to visit Leah at her university, to check in on her since winning her award...
I chose a BTEC, because it was the most logical thing to do at the time. It was going to provide with me the strongest platform of knowledge.
- Leah Dean
In the first year of my BTEC at Salford City College, I ended up researching universities and Lancaster offered the most suitable and enjoybale course for me. I applied when I was starting my second year at college, and within a couple of days, I got an offer which I was very happy about.
I studied IT at school and it was always something that I excelled at. I think you should do things that you do excel at because you're good at them. Being good at them gives you a sense of purpose. From there, I decided to carry it on at college and from college, to university. It's been one clear-cut path.
A BTEC was the biggest qualification that I could have done. There were alternatives, but it wouldn't have offered me as much knowledge.
- Leah Dean
My advice to anybody going to university would be to make sure you have good time-management skills and to not procrastinate. From experience, you'll always say, 'I'll do it tomorrow,' but tomorrow never comes. You'll always push it back. Just do it now. Because before you know it, you're going to be a couple of days away from the deadline and having to spend all-nighters doing your work. That's not healthy.
I was nominated for a BTEC Award during my first year of college. I was knocked back at the first round of judging, but I was only in my first year. There was people with more experience than what I had had.
Then, in the second year of college, the same teacher re-nominated me. I got to the next round, and the next round, and then the final round. Before I knew it, my teacher had received an email to say that I'd won BTEC IT and Computing Student of the Year 2017.
Getting a BTEC Award has filled me with confidence. Going to London and receiving the award was a great day, and probably a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Doing a BTEC is just as good as any other qualification. At university everyone has come from a different background - there's people with all different types of qualifications, all different walks of life, and different countries. No matter what your background, you will have what it takes to do an undergraduate degree.
Lancaster University is a great university. It's just been named University of the Year and I think it's in the top ten, nationally. That's something that I'm really proud of, because I've achieved just as great as what anybody else could have achieved with my BTEC.
Top universities, the Russell Group universities, and even the elite universities around the world, accepted a BTEC. They wouldn't accept it if it wasn't good enough and if it didn't provide students with a strong enough platform to pursue a successful education. With that in mind, I knew that doing a BTEC would provide me with what I needed to progress.