Polish native Konrad Buras, who studied part-time at Northern Regional College to achieve his goal of going to university, is about to embark on the next stage of his academic journey.
Konrad completed both a Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment and GCSE English at the College while working full-time at IFS Global Logistics in Carrickfergus. His dedication and commitment to his studies paid off and later this month, he will start a BSc (Hons) degree in Energy as a full-time undergraduate student at Ulster University.
Having lived and worked in Northern Ireland for almost 20 years, Konrad realised he would need additional qualifications to meet the entry requirements for university.
With the guidance of College staff, Konrad completed GCSE English as a night class in Larne, as well as a part-time HNC in Construction and the Built Environment at the College in Ballymena.
Six years ago, Konrad, who is married and lives in Ballyclare with his Polish born wife Anita and their young son Nathan, obtained UK citizenship. Before moving to Northern Ireland, he studied A-level Polish, English, Maths and Geography in Poland.
He said studying part-time while holding down a full-time job at IFS Global Logistics was a big commitment, but it was well worth it.
“The HNC involved a full day of classes in Ballymena on Tuesdays and then the GCSE English class was in Larne on Wednesday evenings. It was challenging to juggle work, study, and family commitments but I never regretted my decision to go back to school,” he said.
“Before committing to the course, I talked it over with Anita and she was very supportive. She understands that I wanted to study so I could provide for a better future for us all.
“It’s also a good way to set an example for our son so he can see how hard work can help you to achieve your goals.”
Konrad added that going back to school had boosted his confidence.
“The lecturers at the College are great and have an open-minded and individual approach to their students,” he said.
“They helped me realise that, even though I had left school 20 years ago, I could still do it. I was shown different ways to look at obstacles and how to overcome them.
“I am really grateful for how they go the extra mile to support their students to make sure that they get the most out of their time at the College.”
He said part-time study and the qualifications he achieved – GCSE English and HNC Construction and the Built Environment – was his progression pathway to university.
Having enjoyed his time as a part-time student at Northern Regional College, Konrad said he would have no hesitation encouraging others to apply.
“Going back to College as a mature student really boosted my confidence,” he said.
“I enjoyed meeting the other students and working on the assignments helped me to concentrate on my grammar.
“It is great to have these qualifications on my CV and I hope they will help open doors for me in the future.”
Congratulating Konrad on achieving his HNC in Construction and the Built Environment, Course Co-ordinator and lecturer, Stephen Hunter said Konrad’s success highlighted how part-time study can open doors to new and exciting opportunities:
“Konrad was a most determined and hard-working student with a genuine interest in the subject and a desire to improve his potential for gainful employment in the future. He passed the HNC with distinction to progress to Ulster University.
He continued: “It is always great to have students from diverse backgrounds who have a different education and life experiences. Konrad serves as a great example of how part-time study at Northern Regional College can, in a relatively short time, enhance an individual’s career prospects and opportunities.”
Northern Regional College offers a Higher National Certificate in Modern Methods of Construction at the Magherafelt Campus. The College also offers Higher Level Apprenticeship in a number of Construction pathways.
For further information and to apply visit Northern Regional College website. We are still accepting applications for part-time further and higher education courses starting in September.