As part of our spotlight on diversity, we recently caught up with Daukenumwerimi Victory Charles, an Arden University student who has been nominated to be a part of a new initiative – Fantasy Wings – which looks to take young people, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds when it comes to the Aviation industry, and give them a glimpse into the skills required to succeed.
Put forward by Dean of the Faculty of STEM, Professor Georgina Harris, Daukenumwerimi Victory Charles is set to learn more about what it takes to make it, and could potentially be in line to receive the required lessons to secure a fully funded pilot’s licence. Read more below to find out about their experience with Arden, aspirations, and how it feels to have been put forward.
Hi there Daukenumwerimi Victory Charles, what is it that you're studying with us?
I'm studying for a BSc (Hons) in computing and I'm currently in my level five.
What was it that led you to choose us to study with studying with Arden?
Basically, I needed flexibility when it came to my studies. Currently, I have a lot of things I do, including a full-time job. I checked a few other universities, and I didn’t want to do it all online, I wanted the physical classes and to get to know fellow students in the physical classroom, and with this blended programme I have the online options and also have the face-to-face classes.
What’s been the best thing about the course so far?
All the tutors I’ve met so far are so good at what they do. They also all have industry experience, which makes it way easier for us to understand the subject matter.
I had a background knowledge about computing, but the help from the Tutors and lecturers has broadened my knowledge and enhanced my understanding about computing, especially when it comes to programming and networking.
So, you’re studying as part of a blended programme, which of our study centres do you go into?
Manchester. I've been in the city for nearly three years now and I really like it. It’s quiet for a city. I’ve been to London a couple of times, and it's too busy for me. Manchester is a very quiet place though and I love it. I love the environment as well.
You're balancing your studies with a full-time job too, what is it that you do?
Well, I'm a missionary with a church who gave me a scholarship alongside the job of being a full time missionary. Luckily it hasn’t conflicted with my studies.
So, when you've finished studying with us, what do you want to do?
I'm looking forward to being a data scientist, that’s my dream. I was thinking of being a software engineer, but I realised, going through my modules, I was really good at the specific module that was to do in data communication. I did very well on that module and it was something I could more easily understand than every other module. That gave me the courage to think I could go for this in the future.
Fantasy Wings is a programme you're going to be involved with? How did the opportunity for that come about?
So, I received an email from one of my teachers asking if I’d be interested in the programme as they had two opportunities for students Arden. So, I got that email from him and, when I went in to school the next day, I had two lecturers from different computing departments asking the same question. I saw it as an opportunity and so I said “Let's go for it.”
Going through the page, I think it’s going to involve 10 months of classes, (once every month on a Saturday) beginning in October which are designed to give an opportunity to younger people who have an interest in the aviation industry. From that, I think 50 people will be given the chance to have trial classes after learning about the theory, then at the end of that three people will be given the classes to get their private pilot's licence.
How do you feel about being involved and what do you hope to get out of it?
As a person, I'm open to any opportunity and the fact that multiple people nominated me makes me feel very privileged. So I’m studying computing, which has no limits, in that it goes across every other sector and career, so if an interesting opportunity shows itself then I will do it.
You clearly lead a busy life, what is it that you think that keeps you motivated?
It’s quite funny, but the fear of failure is one thing. That, and I don't like regret. I want to make sure I’m making the most of the chance I have now and get the best result out of it. I want to look at my life in the future and tell myself “Yes, I was right in the decisions I made, I was right with my time management, and I was right in taking the chances I had.”
At the end of the day becoming a successful person is my motivation and being happy with my current life, and wherever I end up in the future.
What's been your proudest moment while you've been studying with us?
So because of the nature of my job, where I meet with people and communicate with them, I’m really proud that I was elected student rep for the computing department.
That was a privilege, to speak to my fellow students and get to know their challenges, especially when they can't speak for themselves. It means I can actually speak on their behalf and get these challenges resolved. That’s something I’m really proud of: the fact that the university is moving forward, the students are comfortable, and they are also pleased with the way their problems are resolved.
Do you feel you've had to overcome any challenges to get where you are today?
I'm working at the same time as I'm studying so definitely, my leisure time has become shortened, so I've made some big sacrifices there. At the same time, I have never regretted doing that though, because I have the bigger picture in mind and I’m happy to sacrifice a bit of leisure and pleasure to make sure I get what I'm looking for.
To find out how a degree from Arden University can help you achieve what you were born to do, visit our course pages today