Aerial photograph from a plane of the Brook Street campus

Student Stories

Sienna Carlton

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Motorsports

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Sienna Carlton, 19, had a quandary on her hands after receiving five university offers following the completion of her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Motorsports course at West Kent College. Sienna, a huge fan of classic cars, had to consider offers from Oxford Brookes, Birmingham City, Derby, Hertfordshire and Bolton. She commented: “It’s been a difficult choice, but Derby is the front-runner for me, as the course looks great and when I visited the city, it had a similar atmosphere to Tunbridge Wells, a home-from-home.”

After doing one year of her A-levels, she dropped out after deciding it just wasn’t for her. She went on to apply initially for the Level 2 Motorsport Diploma at West Kent, but was recommended to join the Level 3 course, as she was already working to that standard.

Her interest in studying motorsports was sparked by her Dad’s passion for classic cars and her many visits with him to the annual racing events at Goodwood. A stint of work experience at a classic car garage merely fuelled her desire to enrol here.

Speaking positively of her time at West Kent College, she said: “It’s a much less pressured environment here, as the focus here is very much on learning real-life skills for industry, rather than an assumed defined path to university. Ultimately, I did decide on university, and I’ve received a huge amount of support here to help me make my choice, and my tutor, Nick Aldridge, has been excellent. I’ll definitely miss the place when I leave.”

Sienna aspires to open her own garage, focusing on a female-only client base. She explains, “I’d hope to make motoring more accessible to women and change the male-dominated landscape. My business would ensure fair trading for women, making sure they’re not patronised or ripped off.”  

And her favourite car? : “It has to be a 1967 Porsche 911S.”

I’ve received a huge amount of support and my tutor has been excellent.