Former Business student talks College, University and BTECs

Bradley Cottington, former Business BTEC student from Maidenhead, is now studying Business Studies with Enterprise and Placement at Bournemouth University. Find out more about Bradley and his time at College.

I am currently in my second year studying Business Studies with Enterprise and Placement. I am in hot pursuit of running my own company in the foreseeable future and I understand that you need practical experience in business. To gain experience, I have completed some part time endeavours including: eBay stores and recently a Twitter page/website that promotes, shares and distributes content made by artists around the world with over 1,000,000 generated impressions worldwide.

I came to the Henley college in 2015 after doing my GCSE’s at Cox Green School in Maidenhead. I browsed the various A levels (most of which weren’t being offered at my school) and the various BTEC courses and I decided to pursue the BTEC Extended Diploma in Business. I found this course appealing as it includes varied units that sounded exciting and challenging to me. I achieved D*D*D*, which I'm extremely proud of.

I knew from the get-go that I wanted to get the best grade possible and really push myself. At college I was relaxed but highly motivated, it certainly showed when I received my final grades. I never thought I could get into university and certainly not my first choice of Bournemouth, for that I cannot thank the Henley College enough – it is the best stepping stone and decision I’ve made to date.

Henley College was very quiet and chilled out, the perfect place to study. After seeing both sites, it just felt right, especially in comparison to Secondary School. All the teachers gave you respect and made you feel like an adult. It really felt like the teachers cared about you and your grades. They would also always make themselves available to offer guidance and advice.

I chose to come to the Henley College because of its fantastic results over the previous years and the quality courses. Henley wasn’t the easy option and I knew that I had to really work for it if I wanted it to be successful and follow my dreams.

My best memory was helping to organise and run a Charity Pub Quiz for the Sue Ryder foundation with my course mates. As a collective year group, we broke the record for the annual fundraiser. I was very proud that we had contributed to the local community by helping those in their final days and the aftercare for their families. This has really motivated me to do more work for charities and great causes like these offered by the college.

I do remember being told that my GCSE’s were not at the level to get into University and that Henley College would be a waste of time, how wrong my school teachers were. Universities are taking on more and more students studying BTEC’s and they sometimes even reward students with a scholarship of £1,500 in the first year of study. Bournemouth University did this for me.

My family has been the biggest influence on me, especially as my Mum works in HR for a large British corporation and my Dad runs his own Carpentry Business – the perfect balance of big and small business. They very much taught me that you must always weigh up your options but ultimately to follow my heart.

It’s so important that you find out what you enjoy doing and what you are actually very good at. This core skill alone will forever set you on the right path of where you should be and for me, this was the Henley College.

My future ambitions are to have my own business. I want to be successful at what I do and be the best person I can be. Henley College allowed me to have friends from different areas of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, I learnt how to work in a competitive environment and understand the work/life balance everyone needs to be the best. If I had the option to do 5 years of the Henley College instead of 5 years of School, I would pick 5 years of the Henley College every single time