Jeremy Akhavi

Current student

Subject area
Computer Science

I completed my A Levels at Mill Hill School in London, working towards getting the best grades I could in Maths, Physics and Politics. With the hope of studying Mechanical Engineering I trawled the university league tables comparing entrance requirements with my predicted grades.

I settled on a few universities - all campus based as I wanted to try get a similar experience to when I was living at school. Upon visiting Loughborough, the sheer friendliness of the students taking us around immediately gave the university a happy and welcoming image. With the facilities, the ranking and the community feel of halls in Loughborough I decided to make it my firm option.

In the middle of my A Level mocks in February I was diagnosed with cancer and started undergoing chemotherapy treatment. My school immediately got in contact with Loughborough who were particularly helpful, they said they would take everything into account when results day came around and that they would do their best to make sure I would still have a place at their university. I sat my exams in hospital fully aware that I wasn’t going to get my predicted grades, but I just wanted to see what I could achieve and then be able to resit the exams the next year if I needed to.

On the morning of results day, before even arriving at school I received an email from UCAS saying that Loughborough had amended my offer - a place to study Mechanical Engineering with a Foundation Year.

I hadn’t explored the option of taking a foundation year so I was keen to call Loughborough and find out about what it would mean after I’d found out my results. We drove into school and I opened up my results, whilst they weren’t my predicted grades (A, A, A) I was still really happy to have achieved A, B, C given the situation. I then called up Loughborough and asked some questions about what the Foundation Year would mean, the results day team were really friendly and put me through to someone on the Foundation Team.

She explained the mechanics of the year, it would get me up to speed with everything that I missed at A Levels that would be relevant to my Mechanical Engineering degree, we would also bridge the gap between A Levels and degree so that I would be in a much more comfortable position starting the bachelors course. The more we talked the more excited I got about the proposition as it meant I could still be at Loughborough, and also not have to worry about catching up with the last few months of A Level content.

Jeremy Akhavi

I took a year out to recover from treatment and then started my foundation year in 2018. We covered a variety of interesting modules, but I found a particular interest in Digital Electronics and Introduction to Programming.

Being aware of the transferable skills that the foundation year taught me I looked into the idea of changing my degree from Mechanical Engineering to Computer Science. The team helped me put in my request and a new offer was drawn up meaning to progress onto Comp Sci I would need to achieve a certain grade in Maths and Intro to Programming, and also achieve a high enough average in my other modules. Fortunately I managed to meet these requirements and achieve a progression scholarship for my grades which was a nice sum of money to help fund my student lifestyle!

I’ve now just finished Part A of Computer Science and I couldn’t be happier. The foundation year helped me get acquainted university life without being quite as intense as going straight into first year which was really helpful whilst I was still regaining my strength after treatment.

The year also helped me find a new passion that I’m now lucky enough to study, and whilst I have lots of friends really enjoying studying Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science was definitely the better choice for me so I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to make this change. Loughborough have provided a wealth of resources for the Computer Science department and instilled such a strong sense of community with students from across the years always willing to help each-other.

Loughborough is a university full of keen students that are willing to get involved with anything and everything, I’ve found new hobbies by just tagging along to taster sessions with my flatmates. The hall culture in Loughborough gives you and immediate family (and an irrational hatred of your rival hall). With a committee of second year students living in halls and running hall events there’s always something to do, from dog-walking to rowing, ski-trips to great socials.

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