Focus has paid off for two boys who knew their goals

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TWO engineering graduates who had decided their career paths at the tender age of just 16 have been rewarded with their dream jobs.

Matthew Haines and Daniel Coates, both 22, from the University of Portsmouth, have been offered full-time graduate jobs with Xyratex in Havant, working at the forefront of computer technology.

The pair applied for scholarships offered jointly by Xyratex and the university’s School of Engineering when they were still at school.

Xyratex paid them £750 a year each to help them through university and, crucially, also gave them paid work experience every summer.

They graduated this week with masters degrees in engineering, in which they both earned distinctions.

Matthew, from Hayling Island, is now an electronic design engineer with Xyratex.

He said: ‘I’ve had good feedback from all the managers I’ve worked for over the four summers and I’m now employed in one of the departments that I worked in over the summer break in 2009.’

Daniel added: ‘My major priority when I was studying was to get a job and I would have moved anywhere for work, so I am lucky to find a job in Portsmouth.’

The year Matthew and Daniel won their scholarship was the first time the scholarship had been offered.

In the four years since then Xyratex has sponsored two Portsmouth engineering students every year.

Dave Milward, the firm’s director of skills and technical vitality, said: ‘By offering scholarships to undergraduates we benefit from a stream of new ideas and original thinking. Even if some of their ideas won’t work, one in 10 of them can be a real gem.’