Alumni Spotlight: Rodney PereiraRodney Pereira was a student at the Gibraltar College from September 1994 until July 1997.

During his time at the College Rodney successfully achieved a BTEC First National Diploma in IT and Electronics (equivalent to five GCSEs) and a Level III BTEC National Certificate in IT, Electrical and Electronics (equivalent to 2 A-levels).

Rodney went on to do a BSc (Hons) in Industrial Design at the University of Luton; which he followed up with a Masters Degree in Integrated Product Development and Sustainable Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Rodney has worked in the construction industry for several years until he completed his teacher training (PGCE) in 2010. Rodney has been a teacher at the Gibraltar College since 2012.

My Time at the College
I joined the Gibraltar College of Further Education in 1994 straight after doing my GCSE’s.  When I applied I was adamant in doing Business Studies, but during my interview, with who I would later learn would be my teachers, I was convinced that a career in Engineering would be most suited for me.

Alumni Spotlight: Rodney PereiraIt was scary to see my dad’s face when I told him that I had changed my mind at the interview, and that I would now be doing electronics and electrical instead.  My father being a HAM radio, was not amused and challenged me by saying that, if I failed I would have to face my own failure and look for work.

I enrolled on the BTEC First National Diploma in IT and Electronics. This was a one year course and was equivalent to 5 GCSEs.  I loved the course and enjoyed the fact that teachers were passing down their enthusiasm for the subject to students whilst I was learning how to use and program computers in BASIC.  At the time the ‘personal computer’ concept was so new that we had to use the College's resource centre to write up our assignments, as computers were not easily available as they are now.

It wasn’t until I moved on to doing the Level III, BTEC National Certificate in IT, Electrical and Electronics, which was equivalent to 2 A levels, that my father surprised me by getting me an Intel 80386, so that I could do most of my work at home. During this time, I had to learn how to integrate electronic projects with the computer and program these in order to achieve the desired result.  The project I was involved in was a data acquisition contraption for an imaginary ferry company that measured the length of a vehicle, its speed and could also calculate the ticket cost. On one occasion, the project was shown at a College open day.

Alumni Spotlight: Rodney PereiraI really enjoyed my time in College, made lots of friends and was encouraged by my teachers to further my studies, given that at the time I was quite unsure of what I really wanted to do with my life.  In 1997 I applied for a BSc (Hons) in Industrial Design at the University of Luton, and straight after in 2001, I  applied for a Masters Degree in Integrated Product Development and Sustainable Engineering, with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.  My project entailed the development of an intelligent log system for the Scottish NHS, which dealt with Micro-processor and SMART RFid technologies.

Returning to Gibraltar after my studies was a real eye opener, and I worked within the Construction industry in the private sector as an M&E consultant till 2008, when I enrolled as a student teacher with the Department of Education.  It was during this time that I realised how much I enjoyed imparting knowledge to students, and witness their success in their studies and in career choice.  I then went on to complete my teacher training in 2010 and was a supply teacher until I was made permanent and joined the Gibraltar College in 2012.

In 2013 I was asked to introduce an electrical course at the College, the EAL Domestic Electrical Installations and Circuit Protection unit, which has been a success and some of my students have gone on to become fully-trained electricians, and are now working in industry.

In retrospect, I would like to thank the College as a whole and all my past teachers for not giving up on me.  Thank you ALL!! Rodney Pereira




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