Case Studies

Working within the education sector is a passion of mine, however not personally knowing anyone that worked within the profession at a higher managerial position did at some times inhibit my aspirations, as it made the path to my career ambigous and uncertain. This is because I was not sure what academic requirements had to be obtained, I was unsure about what experience was needed, and was also unsure about the different roles and responsibilities that were involved. Therefore, being able to communicate in an informal one to one manner with someone who was well established in the sector, that I desired to work in, enabled me to grasp a valid insight into how the education sector works and what my potential future role would involve. As a result of my Work-Link Mentor, I know have the social and academic encouragement to pursue my desired career whilst at university and even after I graduate, confident that I have an accurate perception of what it takes to gain a strong and promising profession

Mohammed Ibrahim

Studying Political Science & Sociology at Cambridge University.

Nazan and I communicated regularly by email, Skype and phone. Her interest is in creative writing for film/TV but was also interested in learning more about film production/editing etc.

We focussed on creating and maintaining a ‘portfolio of evidence’ of work she had produced (writing, scripts, storyboards, pictures etc) and selecting channels (on-line and in print) where her work could find an audience.

Once this was achieved we concentrated on preparing for interviews to seek relevant work experience, which were successful. After her exams she was offered both a place at university and an apprenticeship

Martin S

Work-Link Mentor

Dr John Rawlinson in a typical dialogue with one of his work-link mentees.!Ai28Ou84rgf482bmZ9nlcbtV-YjL


A Level student - Midlands

In a phone conversation my Work-Link Mentor helped me consolidate my preparation for an interview at a leading medical school by sharing his experience of medicine and giving me examples of technical questions I might be asked. I have since been offered a place!

Tom D


Please click the plus (+) button below to read an email between Asef, a student at City of Westminster College and his Work-Link Mentor, Paul Coomber

Dear Asef

My name is Paul Coomber, I am your Work-Link mentor for the year and look forward to supporting you.

My background is Quantity Surveying. I currently run a small London-based construction company undertaking residential, commercial and rail works.

I will be in contact with you on a monthly basis, but please ask for help when you need it.

Feel free to ask me any questions you think may be able to help with.

You may be unsure what I can help you with, so if you haven’t already I suggest you take a look at this web page which has a number of suggestions for the type of questions you might want to ask…

Kind Regards,

Paul Coomber

On 14 December 2017 at 21:58, Asef Ullah  wrote:

Dear sir,

Nice to meet you. My name is Asef Mahamood Ullah. I am a student at City of Westminster college and I am doing A-level Physics, Maths and Chemistry. I am really looking forward to be mentored from you. My questions include:

– what grades do I need to become a very good civil engineer?

– do I need to have any practical skills, or is the academic study enough?

– which recommendations do you give me to succeed in my first year of A levels?

Hoping to hear from you soon. Thank you for your co-operation.



Hi Asef,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Its good to hear you are getting on with your A-Levels, I hope they are all going well.

In response to your questions, with regards to your exam grades, whilst top grades are not essential to obtain a placement with a Civil Engineering company, the better your grades, the more likely you are to stand out above the other applicants. In the main though, Employers will be as interested in understanding that you are capable of working hard and being dedicated as much as your intellectual prowess. Do you know yet what your plans are once you have completed your A-levels? 

You will not necessarily need practical skills to get a good placement as you will be taught those whilst studying for your degree. What would be an advantage is to be able to demonstrate your obvious enthusiasm for civil engineering to your potential employers. As a business owner, I would rather employ somebody who has an interest in their work beyond just the salary even above another person who , whilst may be better qualified, is less passionate about their work. You will be a Civil engineer for many years, so it is important to enjoy the work you do.

For your first year A-levels, the only advice I would give, is work hard and try your best. If you finish your first year confident that you have given your best efforts then that is all you can do. Take advice from your tutors if there is anything that is troubling you with your course work and do not be afraid to ask for assistance, and most importantly, try to enjoy your studies if possible!

I hope some of the above is of help, and please feel free to ask if you want any more help.

Kind Regards,

Paul Coomber

Hi Asef,

good to hear from you again. I took physics for my O-levels many years ago and I too found it a difficult subject to grasp at times. My advice would be:

1) Try to break down topic with which you are having particular problems. Sometimes it can be easier to understand one aspect of a problem at at time rather than trying to understand the whole topic at once. Once you have an understanding of one aspect, then move on to the next.  I also used to find that writing notes on my study books rather than just reading them helped the information sink in.

2) Do not be afraid to ask your teacher for explanations on anything of which you are unsure. If you still do not fully understand it after you have asked, ask again! Hopefully your teacher will appreciate Physics is a difficult subject and sometimes principles need to be explained a number of times before they sink in. 

3) Read up on the subject as much as you can. I am currently reading a book on Quantum Physics and whilst a substantial amount of the information goes over my head, I do find if I re-read sections a couple of times it does start to make sense (as much as any Quantum Physics makes sense!).

4) Importantly, try not to get too stressed over it. It is far harder to learn when you put pressure on yourself. You need to take breaks and occupy your mind away from studies from time to time. You may be surprised what you have learnt on a subject when you have a break from it for a few days.

I hope some of this is of help to you and I am sure with the hard work you are obviously putting in you will get the results you want.

Kind Regards,

Paul Coomber


Hi Sir,

I am Asef Mahamood Ullah from the work-link mentor scheme. Nice to meet you again. I want to do civil engineering and two main subjects requirements for this field are physics and maths. I am not facing a lot of problems with maths but physics, i am finding it very challenging. I do not know if you studied physics but can you please give me some strategies or ideas regarding how to tackle this hard subject.

Thanks for you co-operation



Hi Mr. Paul

Thank you for your recommendations. I will take them into account. I will get in touch with you soon again in the upcoming months.

Thank you so much again