Update: This submission won the All India first position in the British Council #KnowledgeIsGreat writing contest in 2014, held in association with Indiblogger. Topic: “If you could study/ specialise in any subject of your choice in the UK, what would it be, where and why?”. Click here to know more.
I personally believe, education is man’s greatest virtue in life. It defines who he is as an individual. More importantly, education empowers us with knowledge and life skills needed to excel in one’s chosen field.
I am 16 and live in New Delhi, India. And my primary interests are in the area of automobiles, soccer, golf and a bit on the culinary, art and sartorial side. In my less than a decade long journey during my pre teen and teen age, exploring through these diverse and fascinating worlds of engineering, design, art & sports, I have repeatedly been pointed towards Britain as a primary source of inspiration and knowledge in each of these fields. Be it sporting icons like David Beckham & Nick Faldo, designers like Sir Jonathan Ive & Ian Callum, journalists like Jeremy Clarkson & Piers Morgan, bespoke gentleman’s tailors like Gieves & Hawkes and Spencer Hart, actors like Daniel Craig & Benedict Cumberbatch or authors like Ian Fleming, each of them have left an impression and inspired in their own way.
Apart from the people, there is something about Britain that fascinates. It is steeped in historic significance and has a classic & timeless appeal. Understated and unhurried. A pause in today’s fast paced world when you stop to appreciate the finer things in life. And that I think, comes from a very strong and secure societal foundation. Of which, education forms an intrinsic and valuable part.
Education in Britain has always been rated as the finest in the world and the legacy extends to many institutions in India as well. It is a fact that one of the best things that happened to India under the British rule, was the opening up of the Education sector.
I have been writing for the automobile industry for the past three years through this blog, since I was 13 years of age. As a part of the journey, I have covered international auto expos & F1 races as an accredited journalist, reported on several auto launches and interviewed some of the global stalwarts within the industry. I am also working on an automobile design project. Apart from being recognized as the youngest automobile blogger in the world, I remain humbled by the fact that my writing has received wide appreciation in India and abroad. In fact some of the best reviews have been from members of the British automobile, media & PR fraternity and that has been most encouraging.
This has inspired me to look towards Britain closely as an opportunity to further my interest in the area, as it not only offers the most coveted education in the field, but also has a flourishing automobile industry that makes it the best place to gain foundation building experience as a part of the curriculum.
A career in the automobile industry needs perseverance, focus, utmost dedication, hard work and knowledge. An understanding of the technical know-how, as well as the needs and aspirations of consumers across global markets is important. There are several facets that one can explore within the automobile industry from a career perspective; such as design, engineering & product development, manufacturing, sales & marketing and journalism. Personally, design and journalism are the areas that fascinate me.
A melting pot of eastern & western influences, be it in art, literature, culture and more, Britain has always been one of the most balanced, evolved and cosmopolitan environment for early learning opportunities from a professional perspective. Within the automobile industry, Britain offers a thriving small scale car industry and world leading R&D and technology potential – which makes it a fantastic learning ground. Since the invention of the automobile as we know it, Britain has been making breathtakingly beautiful cars. In spite of ownership changes, British brands like Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin have been the hallmark of quality and luxury, and withstood the test of time. Others like Rolls Royce and Bentley have remained true to their British roots, and continue to make some of the most luxurious cars in the world.
Take for example Jaguar’s latest offering, the F-Type. It is a perfect example of how design can make heritage & legacy seamlessly blend with modern technology & swagger. Designed by the legendary Ian Callum, Design Head of Jaguar, it went on to win several accolades and the ‘World Car Design of the Year’ for 2013. Ian Callum himself studied at Lanchester Polytechnic’s (now Coventry University) School of Transportation Design in Coventry, Aberdeen Art College and the Glasgow School of Art, where he graduated with a degree in Industrial Design. He subsequently graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with a post-graduate Masters degree in Vehicle Design. (Click here, for a link to my earlier interview with Ian Callum).
To study automotive design in Britain, one doesn’t look further than Coventry University. It is recognized by the automobile industry for having the leading courses in automobile and product design. The Coventry University won the award for the ‘Best Design School’ in the World Automotive Design Competition in 2004, and also won the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2007. The courses here aim to give students the skill, understanding and knowledge to work as a designer in all fields of automotive design. The design course at Coventry University not only provides students with practical knowledge, but also changes the way they interpret and analyze designs.
Also famous for its mechanical engineering with automotive design course is London’s Brunel University. Brunel prepares students for the challenge of creating new and improved vehicle systems, while utilizing revolutionary materials that are in line with today’s changing scenarios.
Journalism is another fascinating aspect of the automobile industry, and a progressive career option. My early years as a cub journalist have proven beyond doubt that it is an immensely respected and revered profession. I have had the pleasure of interacting with Jim Holder, one of Britain’s best in the business and currently the Editor of Autocar, Britain’s oldest and most prestigious car magazine. He has also been a great inspiration for me. (Click here, for a link to my earlier interview with Jim Holder)
Automotive journalists wield a great amount of influence on both manufacturers and consumers. They can make or break a brand and greatly influence buying behaviour through their reviews and commentary on the industry and vehicle models. Britain offers some of the best courses available in journalism, and the journalism course at Department of Journalism, City University, London is one of the most reputed in the world. It aims to teach students the two greatest values of journalism – honesty and integrity. City University feels that in today’s world, where technology is driving the decentralization of news, the need for qualified journalists has never been greater. Studying journalism doesn’t just hone one’s communication skills, it also changes the way one analyzes information, something that is very integral in the automotive industry.
Another University that I would like to point towards is the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. The course here aims to give students the ability to perform in any field related to media and communication.
To know more about education in Britain, perhaps the best resource remains http://knowledgeisgreat.in/. Personally speaking, if one is serious about a career in the automobile industry, Britain offers the finest industry focussed environment for knowledge, education & learning. And as a high school student, it is an experience that I would be most certainly looking forward to in the coming years.