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Gordon Harris's Story

Gordon Harris
"The AEP degree programme is one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life, but it has been a tremendously enlightening experience and I feel I am starting to become 'an engineer'."
Gordon Harris, X760 AME Engineer Upperstructures, Jaguar Land Rover


I started at Land Rover Solihull as an apprentice at age 16 and have worked at Solihull now for 25 years. During that time I have completed some basic management courses and union studies to Level 3 (the highest grade available at the time).

I have always strived to gain knowledge in whatever I have done and have always believed that knowledge is the key to growth as a person. The AEP degree programme is one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life, but it has been a tremendously enlightening experience and I feel I am starting to become an engineer. At each personal review the growth in my ability has been mentioned and the fact I now look at the bigger picture in regards the organisation rather than just my own job role.

The programme has so far given me the knowledge to present my findings and reasoning for actions in a more precise and professional manner in all my tasks in advanced manufacturing. All the subjects are relevant and interlinked to help you become a more rounded engineer and give you an understanding of cross-functional team operations. It provides a sound knowledge base to discuss with departmental specialists and even if I do not have in depth specialist knowledge, I can provoke thought and solutions to issues.

My advice would be do not learn alone. Think of the degree course as an opportunity to gain links and networks. Everybody on the programme will be in the same boat, so do not be afraid to ask questions. 'A problem shared is a problem halved' is an old saying but it is true with the degree. Manage your time and make the most of non-study time, it makes you appreciate non-work time.