We Are Essex

Fletcher's story

Photo of Fletcher Hurn

"If there’s an opportunity for me to learn or try something new, I’ll take it."


My fascination with technology stems from how fast it moves; it forces you to learn how to be flexible and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are inspirations to me because they have always pushed the boundaries. What others think is impossible, they make possible. They don’t stop just because other people think their idea won’t work. I admire that level of dedication and resilience.

Recently, I’ve been watching the videos of the SpaceX launch and NASA sending astronauts into space and it makes me think about what I can achieve in my own life and career. I’d love to contribute to creating software that would help to send someone into space. Some might say my dreams are out of reach but, isn’t that the whole point of a dream? It’s a goal you’re striving to reach- and that’s the exciting part, because it’s down to you to make it happen.

Currently, I’m doing a Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship with Essex. I am also working at a game development company, Slingo Originals Studio. They’re based at the Knowledge Gateway at the University’s Colchester Campus. The Degree Apprenticeship allows me to learn in a real working environment whilst simultaneously preparing me for my future career. It has made a huge difference to my development as things I learn at Essex are reinforced by applying them in the workplace. I never really had a life-plan before and now I do. One idea is to work in America because technology is developing so fast there. I’ve also looked at moving to Canada because it’s the middle ground between the UK and America for opportunities in software engineering. I haven’t made any decisions about it just yet but, if Elon Musk sent me an email to work for him, I’d go to America in a flash!

In my downtime I game with a few friends online. One lives in Norwich, the other in Southampton and another is in Northern Ireland. It’s a cool little community where we all love gaming and learning about the behind-the-scenes stuff. I’ve been teaching one of them a new coding language. I told him about the Degree Apprenticeship I was doing and once we started working together, he realised he enjoyed it too. We built a chess game and created the visuals together. It might look simple but the software, maths and logic involved is something I find really interesting. I couldn’t do that a year ago and it makes me happy knowing that I can teach someone else. It also means I’m getting good at it myself and we’re learning together. The Degree Apprenticeship has given me the confidence to do things like that. If there’s an opportunity for me to learn or try something new. I’ll take it.

I’m hopeful for what the future holds for me. I can even see myself owning a company one day or creating a revolutionary piece of software; perhaps with the friends I’ve made in the online gaming community. Looking forward, if I could give myself one piece of advice it would be to worry less and to have confidence in my abilities. Initially, I was worried about doing the Degree Apprenticeship. What if I didn’t enjoy it or didn’t understand it? I put myself through a lot of stress but, fast forward to now, I’m really into it and haven’t looked back!


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