Mate Kalan is proof that determination pays; having set his sights on a career in engineering the 30-year-old has balanced work and studying along the way to achieving his goal.

Mate was part-way through his studies in engineering and manufacturing management in Hungary when he moved to the UK in 2016. Keen to build his career in the engineering sector, he first completed an HNC in engineering at Bournemouth and Poole College before applying to local firms and securing a place on the training programme with EURAC Poole, part of the MAT Foundry Group. Having started at EURAC, Mate was then accepted onto the Foundation Degree in Engineering at Bournemouth University, and is now set to achieve his full Bachelor’s degree this year.

He said: “It has been a five-year process, firstly catching up on my education in the UK before progressing to working and studying part time. I was keen to begin employment, both to build experience but also to earn money to enable me to complete my studies. The Foundation Degree has been beneficial for me as it enabled me to take the next step to ultimately achieve my goal of a full degree.

“Balancing work and studying means you have to be disciplined, and I have had to carve out time to complete assignments, but it has been worthwhile. The managers at Eurac have shown great support towards my studies by allowing me to take time off from work as required. Ultimately, I am now in a position to be able to combine practical experience with the university qualification, which puts me in a good position for the future.”

Mate’s next step is to embark on a Master’s in Engineering, which he will also complete part time. He said: “While I have been studying for a number of years now, I want to continue to achieve my Master’s. The risk in stopping is that you might never return to it, so it’s better to do it now and I will then have provided myself with the best foundation for the rest of my career.”