North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College has been catching up with former students now on successful career paths having achieved their qualifications at the Wigston campus.
Former business student Connall Pugh has just completed his second year studying law at De Montford University. Sam Huczmann is a paramedic for East Midlands Ambulance Service, and former travel student Tia Goadby manages five venues at Loughborough University. The College also spoke to Emma Taylor who has just completed a Level 3 travel course and is set to take up a degree in Chinese and Thai at the University of Leeds. The former students spoke of how their experiences of college had set them on the right track to achieve their career goals.
Oadby Wyggestonian player, Connall Pugh started afresh at college after a rugby injury caused him to miss out on his studies. He signed up for Level 3 Business at the College. Connall said, “The business course was really broad and included modules on marketing, law and accounting, so I was able to develop a good understanding of possible future employment routes. I knew I wanted to go to university, and this seemed to be the best way of securing a place. I would absolutely recommend a further education route to anyone. I received unconditional offers from five higher education institutions including a travelling scholarship from De Montfort University where I chose to study law.”
At DMU, Connall has visited Berlin and Cyprus as part of the UN Join Together Network which has also seen him take part in a debate on sustainable development at the UN headquarters in New York.
After a shoulder injury forced him out of the Leicester Tigers’ academy programme, Samuel Huczmann made a sharp change of direction to become a paramedic. Sam credits the College’s Access to Higher Education course as the ‘turning point’ as he looks back over three years with East Midlands Ambulance Service during which time, he has delivered six babies.
Sam, 25, from Leicester, found the support and encouragement he was looking for at NWSLC’s Wigston campus. He said, “I found the College very flexible and supportive and the tutors are highly knowledgeable and really know their stuff. The Access pathway I chose was aimed firmly at health professionals and the modules were good matches for the skills I needed to build. As well as learning about human biology, I also gained skills in research and IT so that I was able to meet the academic requirements of the course.”
Sam achieved Distinction grades and progressed on to university to study paramedic science at the University of the West of England in Bristol. He is now following an MSc Advanced Clinical practice at the University of Northampton and is considering a PhD in the future.
From the world of entertainment to the achievements of sports stars, Tia Goadby has been proud to serve some big names from Alexandra Burke and Pixie Lott to Mo Farah and Ant Middleton in event management roles she secured following her college success.
Tia achieved a diploma in travel and tourism and then graduated in entertainment management from Leeds Beckett University. Tia secured her first role in events for the Mercure Leicester Grand Hotel where she enjoyed booking accommodation and arranging hospitality for stars appearing at the nearby De Montfort Hall venue.
In her current role as business development manager at Imago Venues, the commercial arm of Loughborough University, Tia looks after five venues including the flagship Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel. Tia has met Ant Middleton, star of Channel 4’s ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’ as well as fitness guru Ross Edgley and Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty.
Tia said, “I hadn’t been sure what I wanted to do when I left school and the college course in travel and tourism gave me a broad insight into all the career options that would be open to me. My job is challenging but always exciting and I am so pleased that I took the route through college which opened doors in this competitive sector and gave me a great platform for my future career.”
Emma Taylor was only 15 when she joined the College having been diagnosed with Type 3 Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. With advice and support, she progressed from being home-schooled to starting a college course early and enrolled on the Level 2 Travel and Tourism programme.
Emma said, “The College provided a real lifeline for me and everybody has been so supportive. The tutors have made sure that I get extra time to complete assignments if I need it, and they have also really helped to build my confidence. The travel programmes have opened my eyes to the range of employment opportunities and careers within the sector, so it was exactly the right course for me.”
Emma has taken part in lots of enrichment activities during her college career and completed a work placement as a volunteer for the UK’s Young Scientists and Engineers’ Big Bang Fair at the NEC.
Emma developed an interest in Asian culture through listening to K-pop, a genre of popular music originating in South Korea, and through Chinese drama and music. Now 18, Emma has worked exceptionally hard and is on track to achieve her Level 3 travel qualification with the Distinction grades she needs to start a degree in Chinese and Thai at the University of Leeds.
The College is due to open its doors this month to welcome more budding stars whether they are thinking about choices post-16, contemplating a career change, wanting to upskill and get a new job, or enter higher education. The open event takes place between 5pm and 8pm on Tuesday, 18 June at the Wigston campus building.