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    This is my personal statement from when I applied last year. I hope it helps some of you.

    Universities applied:

    Nottingham University (Offer)
    Queen Mary University of London (Offer)
    Aston University (Offer)
    Coventry University (Offer)
    Birmingham City University (Offer)

    I hope that this personal statement supports my application to higher education, showing that I am a hardworking and disciplined student, whilst also demonstrating the key skills and motivation I possess for studying computer science. I took the first stepping stone of many in computer science when I was in secondary school. It started with my teacher showing a demo of how to use 'Scratch'- the visual block-based programming language in year 8. I loved how I could control the movements of sprites just by attaching blocks of instructions together. To me, 'Scratch' wasn't only classwork, it was more of a game to me, one that I could control and modify to my liking, and it sparked my curiosity on how programs work.

    My BTEC course that I am undertaking has led me to enjoy an understanding of computer science and has provided me with a strong foundation in the subject. The course has made me think more critically concerning the influence that computer science has had in the modern age, and has helped me to become more of an independent learner through researching information from online resources for my assignments. Throughout the duration of this course, I have developed time management skills due to tight deadlines with assignments. Units that I have completed, such as software design and development, have taught me about the fundamentals of programming, such as object oriented programming and programming paradigms. My BTEC course has shown me an insight into what computer science could be like for me at university.

    Outside of college, I am currently teaching myself the programming language Java in my own time, using websites such as 'Codecademy' and other online resources, such as YouTube videos, in the hopes of developing my skills to be proficient in the future. This activity is seen more as a hobby to me, rather than work, and it aids me in the long road to becoming a software developer, which is my career aspiration.

    I have participated in a one-week work experience placement at the UK's leading software development company for the estate agent industry, ReapIT. In this work experience placement, I was given the role of testing their award-winning software, called RPS. I had to work closely alongside a team of six people, communicating frequently about how to test certain areas of software, and how these areas can be improved. Although relatively short, this work experience placement has helped me develop various soft and hard skills, relating to how to work in a team-based environment, how software is tested, and how improvements are made and implemented. This work experience placement has provided an insight into the level of work that goes into the development of a program and how crucial the testing process is in software development, and it helps me to prepare for my future career.

    Whilst studying for my GCSES, I built a high-performance computer using tutorials viewed on YouTube. This activity has taught me how to assemble a high-performance Computer, and, to a certain extent, how hardware interacts with each other to allow the computer to function properly. The new build, compared to my older computer, allowed me to further pursue one of my hobbies as it provided more graphical and computational processing power.

    My hobbies are Graphics Design and 3D Modelling. Using Industry standard software, in my free time, such as Cinema4D, I enjoy producing three dimensional models of text and real-life objects, such as cars, and implementing them into images using Photoshop. I have also taken up the challenge of tutoring my younger brother in year 8 in my spare time, as he expands his knowledge in the subject of computer science. I have found it both challenging and rewarding, as it is my first-time tutoring, and I get the opportunity to share knowledge about the fundamentals of computer science.
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