Medical ambitions switch to Motorsport Engineering for Jess
Jess Robinson (23) from Cloughey in the Ards Penninsula, is full of energy and wears an infectious smile as standard. Jess became a student at SERC several years ago, successfully completing Level 2 and Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science with a Double Distinction.
As a young woman who had ambitions for a profession in the medical field, Jess has opted for a career in Motorsport Engineering following a car accident which left her with long-term injuries.
“I have always worked in health and social care alongside my studies. Whilst on my way to work in August 2019, my car aquaplaned, resulting in an accident that left me with some arm injuries which meant that I could not pursue the career I was aiming for,” Jess said.
“After I recovered, I needed to get a car so I could continue working, and I wanted to learn how to maintain it myself, to save money. So I decided to enrol for the car maintenance and repair course at SERC’s Newtownards Campus.
“The course was part-time and suited my schedule. The class was all men, but it wasn’t an issue for me and I just got on with it. We were all there for the same reason, to pick up skills and learn.
“I have always been quite academic, so learning something so hands on was a bit of a challenge. I heard about the Level 3 Motorsport Engineering course when I was there and thought it might be something I could pursue. I knew I had the basics and the background, so I enrolled and haven’t looked back.
Jess added: “I enjoy the mix of tutors and teaching styles. The theory and the practical reinforce the learning, and I feel I am continually building on my knowledge. One of the best things about the course is being involved with the SERC race car, a Formula Ford 1600.
“Our class is responsible for maintaining the car and preparing it for races at circuits such as Kirkistown. We take the car apart and build it up, looking for leaks, visually inspecting the lines, fuel levels, and brake pads. You literally get to know the car inside out.”
“There is a bit of craic in the class and, yes, it is male dominated, but it is all good fun. We all do our best to remain professional and respectful.
“I think my grandfather, Billy Robinson, inspired my interest in vehicles. He had motorbikes and taught me to ride a quad bike and then a scrambler, and I would have gone out with him on the bike. He is the sort of person who wants something done a particular way, so anything about the bike, he learnt to do it himself, and I think that has rubbed off on me.”
Speaking about studying at SERC, Jess said: “I would certainly recommend the course. Everyone comes in with different skills, some have electrical experience, or some are involved in racing and others, like myself, have always had an interest in mechanics and engineering.
“I have found it to be the best learning environment. There’s also great support throughout the College from Careers to Student Finance and the tutors are great at prompting you about pastoral care.”
Apply now for courses commencing September 2022.