Picking the right course when starting college or university is a really important decision but Helen Andrzejowska has proved that changing your mind doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams.

Helen came to Rotherham College to study the National Diploma in Art and Design and after completing the course she went to Sheffield Hallam University to study fine art. After a couple of months on her degree course she realised that it wasn’t for her. She thought that her only option was to go into employment.

After backpacking around Europe for 3 months, Helen returned to her job in retail. She realised how unhappy she was in her position and decided that going back in to education was the best option. She knew that she had the design skills to make a career out of it for herself but she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. Choosing the right course the second time round was very important.

After plenty of research into local colleges and after her success with her National Diploma at Rotherham College, she decided to have a look at what courses the College had to offer. This is when she found the Media, Animation and Games course. Helen has always dreamed of being a games concept artist, so this course was perfect for her.

Helen said: “I would definitely recommend my course to other students, as I found myself learning something new every day, and creating things that I never thought would have been possible by someone who had literally no knowledge on the subject when starting the course.

“The tutors are all really great, and make sure the course runs smoothly, not to mention their knowledge on the software and subjects is amazing.”

“The teaching’s great and we even have a great support network on Facebook so if you’re at home and you’re struggling with something you can write on the Facebook page and they’ll get in touch within a few hours. So you feel like you’re not going to get stuck on a project or you can just come in on your days off. The teachers are always here to help you out and sit down with you, help you through a project.”

Helen is now enjoying being at Huddersfield University doing a BA Hons in Games Design. She has opted to do the degree as a sandwich course and will spend her third year in a placement. In the summer of 2015 she is planning to go out to Japan to do some work at Sony.

At university Helen’s skills, which she developed at College, are being developed further as she is now studying 3D modelling, visual studies and concept art. Helen is taking part in group projects where she is working with students from the programming courses and media courses in order to create a fully functioning game from scratch. Her creative skills are also being challenged by a series of tasks relating to concept development.

Helen said: “My course at Rotherham College really prepared me for my uni course. I would have dropped out by now if I’d not done it. I understand what I’m doing. Some of the other students have come on to the course after doing Art or IT A-Levels. They haven’t done such a specialised college course. College didn’t just teach us the skills but it taught us how to manage assignments, I wouldn’t have the organisational skills.”

“I didn’t just learn the skills. I learnt how to manage my time and be organised with projects.”

Helen Andrzejowska
Computing and Digital

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