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Mike Gardner's Story

Mike Gardner
"I jumped at the opportunity of the AEP (BEng): primarily to open up career opportunities, but also to link the years of practical experiences with the theoretical models. AEP enables you to study, but also share experiences with a wider audience."
Mike Gardner, Workforce Readiness Supervisor, Vehicle Operations, Jaguar Land Rover

I have been directly involved in manufacturing for nearly 30 years now, predominantly in the aerospace industry, but for the last two years in automotive at JLR. My career has been progressive, working from the shop floor into operations management roles and apart from the 2 H.N.C’s gained early in my career, training has been aligned to work based requirements.

Since leaving the aerospace industry, the fact that I did not possess a degree initially stalled a number of career opportunities, so I jumped at the opportunity of the AEP: primarily to open up career opportunities, but also to link the years of practical experiences with the theoretical models. AEP enables you to study, but also share experiences with a wider audience.

I am greatly enjoying my time back in the classroom, and being new to the company it has enabled me to open up a network of contacts quickly. As more and more companies sign into the programme, students’ networking ability will greatly increase, enabling greater cross fertilization of ideas which can only benefit our business.

To date the learning has been largely broad based, bring all candidates up to the same level as everyone has different levels of understanding across the curriculum. Personally, I am looking forward to Year 3 at which point I can refine the modules on offer to support my recent change in career. At this point, I see the learning going hand in hand with my day job.

Potential candidates need to understand that this is a fantastic opportunity, but also a huge commitment. They cannot just turn up at University every six weeks and expect to pass the degree course in four years’ time. Current students are now starting to see that the level of effort put in is reflected in the marks awarded.