When did you attend West Lakes Academy?

I attended WLA from 2005-2012 (originally Wyndham School.)

What is your favourite memory of your time at West Lakes Academy?

Favourite memory has got to be when I made up a team of students, alongside Ben Spencer and Abigail Gerry to compete in the British Schools Karting Championship, which was very kindly funded by the school, travelling from race track to race track competing. Finally coming 5th out of 617 teams, where we won every race in the first round apart from 1, and in the second round we won the North West Regional Championship. The best part for me personally was taking the lap record at 3 Sisters race circuit, which sadly has since been beaten. The final round we came incredibly close to winning outright, however we ended up finishing 5th overall.

What have you achieved since leaving WLA and what are you currently working on?

Since leaving WLA I have gained a first class with honours Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire. I have also competed in Formula Student, which involved designing, building and racing our own race car against hundreds of other teams from around the world in Britain and Germany, coming 7th out of 71 teams. I am currently doing a masters degree in Race Car Aerodynamics at the University of Southampton.

How did your time at WLA prepare you for this?

The academy prepared me for this by having very good science, maths and technology departments, which meant I was able to get the grades I needed at A Level to get to university to do the degree I wanted.

What advice would you give to the students of WLA who want to pursue a similar career?

For students who want to do Race Car Aerodynamics, I would probably say physics, maths and technology is the way to go, and I would also say that if the grades aren’t quite what you need, there is always another way of managing to do it.

Any other words of wisdom for our students on how to make the most of their time at WLA?

I would say, choose subjects based on what you enjoy, don’t base them on what job someone else thinks you should go for, because 9 times out of 10, the grades in a subject you enjoy will be better than grades in a subject which is more ‘accepted’, and will be more likely to get you further in life than a subject which you may find a bit dull.

Nicky Mc