Cardiff and Vale College students are IT crowd champions
Three IT students from Cardiff and Vale College have been crowned champions in the Welsh finals of the WorldSkills competition.
Arron Davies, Neal Hirani and Dhiraj Hirani – who are all studying the Extended Diploma in IT, Network and System Support - won gold, silver and bronze respectively in the Microsoft IT Technician Welsh final held in Gower College, Swansea.
The three triumphant CAVC students will now go on to represent Wales at the next round of the WorldSkills competition in Bedford later this year. The competition is designed to focus on all the essential requirements for a successful career as a Microsoft engineer in any industry and involves configuring hardware and software to meet customer requirements.
Gold award winner, Arron Davies, Cardiff, said: “Taking part in this competition was a great experience and the training we took will be extremely useful for my future. Upon arrival at Gower College I started to feel really confident and once we had met the other competitors and had a brief read of what we were expected to do I felt that I could do really well and maybe finish in the top three.
“Surprisingly I didn't feel nervous throughout the competition in fact I felt like I was in the driver’s seat as I could see other competitors struggling on parts I had already completed. When the time was up I then started feeling nervous and questioning if I had done some things wrong or if I had spelt something wrong in the scripts and more little things like that which could potentially ruin it for me.
“When the Principal started the presentation I was nervous and so were my peers as we all looked around at each other kind of assessing each other’s confidence. Dhiraj was then pronounced as Third place which immediately calmed my nerves because although my name wasn't read out I was over the moon for my fellow classmate which took priority over my nerves. Then my second classmate Neal was announced second place and I was again thrilled for my classmate which then got me nervous again because there was only one place left and I started questioning if I had done enough to warrant first place.
“When my name was called out I breathed a huge sigh of relief and felt over the moon because all my hard work had paid off and to top it off all of us that represented the college had picked up an award which was an award in itself.”
Silver award winner Neal Hirani, from Cardiff, added: “Taking part in the World Skills competition was an amazing experience and all the hard work our lecturer made us do had paid off.
“The first thing I did on arrival of the competition was read the brief. The brief seemed a little confusing however as I kept reading it, it got easier. At start I was a little nervous however throughout the remainder of the competition the nervousness had disappeared and I was up to speed and on point with what I had to do. As the judges called time I started panicking a little, wondering if I had missed things out and made little mistakes in places which would make me lose marks.
“When the Principal started the awards presentation my nerves started kicking in again, wondering whether or not I have secured a first, second or third place. As the Principal started naming the winning competitors I was getting even more nervous though they disappeared as I heard my classmate Dhiraj made third place which eased the nerves and got me happy. I then heard my name being called out which got me speechless and over the moon. Straight after that I had a feeling we, the three Cardiff and Vale competitors, are going to take the trophies and I was right. First place was Arron, once all of our names got called out we were cheerful and pleased with our hard work and effort we put in to this competition.”
Bronze award winner, Dhiraj Hirani from Cardiff said: “The main reason why I took part in this competition was because I believed the training and experience I would get could be vital to my future in IT. When we arrived at the college, I looked at the competitors and tried not to underestimate them. I was up for the challenge and was motivated and determined to get in the top 3. When we got into the room to start the competition, they gave us a few minutes to read through the brief. The training we received from our lecturer was worthwhile as the tasks that came up were similar to the ones we practiced for. From then on I knew that me and my classmates would have a good chance at getting the trophy.
“When I heard my name being called out for third place, I was ecstatic and over the moon. I approached the Principal of Gower College and felt overjoyed that at least one of us had won. When Neal took second place, I was thrilled for him and I knew that Arron would take first place. The Principal of the college named us three as the winners and my heart was pounding as I knew that we were going to Bedford for the next competition.”