Meet: Luke

Meet Luke, a recipient of a Certificate of Excellence award at this year's Higher Education Graduation Ceremony.

Luke Wheeler, a 2021 graduate

Name: Luke
Course Studied: Foundation Degree in Media Production

Meet Luke, a recipient of a Certificate of Excellence award at this year’s Higher Education Graduation Ceremony.

Luke, who started at Oaklands College in 2009, has had quite the journey as an Oaklands student. Originally enrolling onto a Level 1 VRQ in Professional Cookery to follow in the footsteps of his grandad’s illustrious career in baking, Luke even spent two years learning his craft as a Mechanic, studying a vocational diploma in Vehicle Maintenance, but it was his passion for media and film-making which would capture his creative flair.

We sat down with Luke after being recognised for his efforts at the 2021 Higher Education Graduation at Oaklands College to discuss his college experience.

Tell us about your time at Oaklands? What did you enjoy about your time at college? 

“I joined Oaklands College in 2009 and haven’t looked back since, the college helped me grow as a person and taught be the skills needed to navigate my way through life to date. I was able to sample a variety of courses across both campuses and I can only speak positively about my experience at the college. The teachers have been supportive across all course areas and it always felt like a professional environment to learn in, the facilities, particularly in Media and Film have enabled me to express my creativity and even write and direct my own short films, which are some of my proudest pieces of work to date. I’ve really enjoyed my college experience.”

What are you now doing, since graduating? 

“Since finishing my degree, I’ve decided to become a Freelance Videographer and Director. Whilst at college a former tutor, Mark Garvey, gave me the inspiration to start-up my own film company; ‘The Wandering Ronin Productions’. I also want to continue pursuing higher education, and since achieving my Foundation Degree in Film and Media, my plan is go to university and study for my Masters.”

What would you say was the major highlight of your time at Oaklands?

“It’s hard to pinpoint just one, there has been a few. I directed a Star Wars fan film, and worked with a good friend of mine and fellow classmate and graduate; Ben Smith, on an neo-noir film titled ‘Marked for Death: A Frank Thorn Case’, the film made use of the old Shredded Wheat factory in Welwyn Garden City and a variety of hired actors.”

What advice would give to today’s Oaklands students if you had a chance? 

“As an Autistic student with ADHD, education has always been a daunting prospect for me, however the care and attention from the staff at Oaklands made me feel as though I was treated like an adult, which made a huge difference. The staff at Oaklands gave me the confidence to push myself as far as I can, and that I can achieve what I set out to achieve. So whichever course you choose, you’ll get there if you believe in yourself and accept the support from those willing to give you it!”

Would you recommend the course that you studied, if so, why? 

“Yes! Level 3 especially, even students who have never considered Media and Film Studies, it’s such a fun course that gives you the freedom to stretch your creativity.”

You were recognised with an Excellence Award this evening, tell us how that made you feel? 

“Shocked – in a good way! It’s hard to explain, but I have worked hard to get to where I am, I left school feeling as though it had failed me, so I am so grateful to the College for believing in me – I wouldn’t be where I am today without their incredible support and encouragement”

I left school feeling as though it had failed me, so I am so grateful to the College for believing in me

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