Engineering, design and technology - student stories
Glenn Hornibrook, Design Engineer
Glenn Hornibrook’s catalyst was his wife. She told him at the age of 34 he had the same amount of years ahead of him in his working life as he had behind him. Glenn was a carpenter/joiner when he knew he needed a new direction after the financial crisis of 2008 led to widespread recession in Ireland. He started his OU journey as he was sitting in a consultant’s waiting room as he wife was diagnosed with a long term illness.
Glenn registered on his undergraduate engineering degree course and for the next few years, combined caring for his wife with his studies. He said his studies became a kind of refuge for him, where he could focus on something outside the world of his wife’s illness and treatment.
As he came to the end of his first year of studies, Glenn put some feelers out for work experience with local companies, using contacts he knew. His appointment with one company led to an offer of a job instead of work experience, as a design engineer.
A few years later he’s still a design engineer and has been head-hunted by another firm. He loves his new career, he loves Fridays, but he loves Monday mornings even more. He couldn’t be any happier and his wife, the person who was his catalyst, is well.
Glenn clearly had transferable skills from being a carpenter he could use and build on in his new career. However, his motivation to change things and networking led to a conversation with an SME that led to a job. Glenn had only completed 120pts but he had the foundation of skills and drive that made him highly employable. The company realised there was someone with the skills who they could actually use. Glenn’s OU journey brought him to a place that 6 years ago he only dreamed about, his story is a reminder of what our students can do with some self-belief and encouragement.