Hi Lauren! The year in industry was one of the most useful things I did. I did mine just after I finished my A Levels. I wanted to do it to check that engineering was really what I wanted to do before I started on a difficult degree.
I was given lots of differnent projects and it sparked areas of interest for me that I am still facinated by today. There wasn’t much pressure because people knew I didn’t know very much yet. When applying for other jobs it gave me loads of experience to talk about. I got to live in a place I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise as well.
My concern when I started was that if I took a year out I would forget things that I had learnt at school and that starting a degree would be harder. If anything the opposite was true, I compounded the things I had learnt, used them at work and found it much easier to get started at university than some of my peers. You also get the opportunity to take part in a distance learning maths course, which was really useful.
On top of that you get paid, the company I worked for even paid some of my tuition fees and offered me a job straight away when I finished!