“Looking back, I feel really proud of myself, as I would never normally say yes to presenting in front of large groups. I really enjoyed the whole process.” – Sagal Qodah, 2017 scholarship winner
Each year Millennium Point pay for the tuition fees of one young person to pursue a STEM related degree at Birmingham City University (BCU). This is part of the ongoing work of the Millennium Point Charitable Trust to support the growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in greater Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Sagal won the Millennium Point Scholarship (then called “The Young Innovator Prize”) in 2017, which funded her Civil Engineering course at BCU, and is currently working for Jacobs as a Graduate Geotechnical Engineer, having graduated in 2020 with a First Class Honours degree.
Sagal applied after hearing about the opportunity through her school; in fact, Sagal is the second pupil from Ark St Alban’s Academy in Highgate, Birmingham, to have received the scholarship, as a former pupil also received the funding from Millennium Point two years previously.
On why she chose BCU, Sagal says: “I liked the fact the university buildings were modern and had great laboratories to carry out experiments, compared to other universities. There were a variety of opportunities for me to develop, and, as a civil engineer, it was an exciting prospect to see the development of the city, along with the enabling works of HS2 over the three years of my course.”
When asked why Sagal decided to apply, she says: “I did think about going abroad to study in Denmark at one point, but when I heard about the chance to have my tuition fees paid for and completely taken care of, it did make me rethink, and the financial assistance provided by the scholarship is the main reason I applied.
“The application process itself was easy and simple, and I was fortunate enough to have help from my careers advisor too, which made everything even smoother.”
While the 2021 final is a virtual one, Sagal reflects on her experience in 2017, when it was a live final in front of a panel of judges and audience of over 200 people: “It was nerve-wracking as I had never presented to or spoken in front of that many people before, and I did find it challenging beforehand when deciding what to include and how to structure my presentation, as well as preparing for any questions that I may have to answer. However, I had the encouragement and support from my friends and teachers which made the process and the evening itself less stressful.
“Looking back, I feel really proud of myself, as I would never normally say yes to presenting in front of large groups. I really enjoyed the whole process.”
Thinking about how the Millennium Point scholarship has benefited her, Sagal explains: “It has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and in turn, it has meant that my confidence has increased – something which was incredibly valuable to me as I was starting university not knowing anyone. Through the scholarship and support from Millennium Point, I’ve been able to increase my network, have been given access to industry events, and I’ve also been provided with help and guidance when needed.
“For anyone thinking about applying for the scholarship, I would advise making the most of the process and don’t doubt yourself, as anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
UNLOCK THEIR FUTURE
Millennium Point is helping young people across the region unlock their future. For more information on how to apply or get involved please, visit www.millenniumpoint.org.uk/scholarship
Find more interesting content from Millennium Point over at our news section, or follow us for daily updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn with @MillenniumPoint. Millennium Point is a landmark public building and multi-award-winning events venue in the Eastside of Birmingham City centre. Profits from our commercial activity are invested by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives which support the growth of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in the West Midlands.