Career Journeys

Job role: Course Leader/Tutor FE Art&Design and Lecturer HE Photography and Art&Design

First ever job: Press photographer

Summary of current role: I teach art and design as a photography specialist in FE, leading the UAL Level 3 Applied General Art & Design Diploma and delivering on Foundation Art, the Extended Diploma and Level 2 art and design. I also teach in HE, currently with L6 Photography and L4/5 Art & Design.

Favourite thing about the role: Seeing students develop and grow in confidence.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18:

I was doing A Levels at Harrogate Grammar School (Geography, Economics and Maths)

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Go straight to a vocational diploma instead of A Levels.

Job role: Lecturer in Teacher Education

First ever job: Lifeguard and swimming instructor

Summary of current role: I work with students who are working as Teaching Assistants in schools, training as teachers and professionals who are studying at masters level. Alongside this I have continued developing outside interests. I have just gained a distinction in a MA in travel and Nature writing. Over the last year I have had articles published by Dive and BBC Countryfile, written regularly for Leeds Living and been a runner up in creative writing competitions.

Favourite thing about the role: Seeing my students progress in their careers. That I have achieved a work life balance where I can also express myself creatively.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: A levels at school, working part time in a shoe shop.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Think about how you can pursue all your interests.

Job role: Business Analyst

First ever job: Shop Assistant (specialist retail)

Summary of current role: Performance & Business Intelligence analysis. Research into college performance, Risk analysis, competitor and national education policy & strategy research. General detective work.

Favourite thing about the role: Making the numbers tell a story that actually helps the college see what it is doing (right or wrong!).

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: After a one-year vocational training course I flunked out of Sixth form, and went on the dole. I worked only part-time until my early 20’s.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Pursue what you want to do to your fullest, but be prepared to wait until you really know what it is; don’t be led by other people’s insistence about what to do.

Job role: Assistant Principal

First ever job: Paperboy / Retail assistant at Boots

Summary of current role: I am Assistant Principal for Further Education at the College, taking the strategic lead for FE curriculum and working with Heads of Department to meet the strategic aims of the College. I represent the College at a number of regional Boards and am leading on the Colleges Future Technology plans working with employers, stakeholders and College staff to ensure our curriculum is meeting the needs of employers.

Favourite thing about the role: I love the opportunity to with people who have the same enthusiasm as myself to work in education and create better opportunities for our students and apprentices. I enjoy creating solutions to problems and developing new partnerships that provide opportunities for students and raise the profile of the College.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: A Levels in History, English and Psychology supported by a part time job at Boots

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: To revise more. Always left this till the last minute and this definitely made it harder for me when I came to year end exams. I would also say its fine to not know what you want to be. If you have the right mentality and can develop skills that employers want then opportunities will always present themselves.

Job role: Higher Education Progression Officer

First ever job: McDonalds

Summary of current role: Supporting students within the college by providing information about progression into higher education through Go Higher West Yorkshire and the UniConnect programme.

Favourite thing about the role: Being in a position where I can support students achieving their higher education aspirations

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: FE college studying a BTEC Sports Coaching, Development and Fitness whilst working part time at McDonalds

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Learn as much as you can from the volunteering opportunities you get through your course and take advantage of every qualification you are offered

Job role: Student Engagement Officer

First ever job: Young peoples disability playgroup leader

Summary of current role: Some of the key responsibilities of the role as a student engagement officer is to liaise with students and staff from a variety of schools and colleges – providing them with specialist knowledge about Bradford college and its courses. Also to facilitate student engagement opportunities across the college tailoring these to specific student requirements. We attend UCAS events, parents evenings and careers fairs as a form of recruitment to college and answering student queries. We deliver bespoke sessions to schools/colleges which our progression package gives more information about.

Favourite thing about the role: Every day is different, I am given the opportunity to meet new people and share my personal knowledge about the college being a previous student. We have an amazing staff team who work very well together to achieve outstanding results and the managers all get involved in all the tasks we deliver as a team. This job has allowed me to learn new skills, and use my own initiative to create workshops/facilitate sessions. Each persons skills are used to their advantage in this team and you are encouraged to utilize your strengths through continual support.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: At the age of 16 I went on to completing A levels at Greenhead College, after completing this I went onto completing a BTEC foundation year in art and design prior to starting University at 18. I was also volunteering in an art gallery at the time to gain more experience in a field I thought I wanted to peruse as a career.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Give yourself plenty of time to learn about the options available to study, find routes into your chosen career more directed rather than longer routes around it. If you know what you want to study at university, research what you need to study at college before making these decisions to help make it easier when applying for uni courses.

Job role: Information, Advice and Guidance Team Leader

First ever job: Dispensing Assistant – Boots

Summary of current role: I lead and work with a team of careers advisers to create and deliver a good quality careers and employability programme to Bradford College students, ensuring that all students get good quality careers guidance to help them make decisions about their next steps in their career journeys.. I also lead the student finance team who support students with finances such as bursaries, travel costs and other payments.

Favourite thing about the role: I love helping students to progress. I enjoy helping students to realise their full potential, and I love helping them to reach their career goals and aspirations. I also really enjoy supporting students with finances and ensuring that students can continue with their studies and reach their end career goals without money problems getting in the way.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I did A level Spanish, English Literature and Sociology alongside a part time Saturday job at Boots.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Do some work experience to help you make your career choices.

Job role: Personal Development Officer

First ever job: Waiter/Bar Staff

Summary of current role: I work with different departments and students by creating tailor made workshops that support their academic learning and personal development. Our team create workshops, organise events and look at alternative methods of learning ranging in regards to; their academic learning, serious topics that are relevant to todays young people as well as creating projects simply for fun.

Favourite thing about the role: Creating my own workshops for students to help broaden their understanding of non-academic but crucially important topics that influence their world views and personal growth.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: Failing my maths GCSE ( I passed on the 3rd go). Working in M&S. Starting a course at college for the fun of it (I did it for the trips aboard) after failing 2 out of 4 of my A-Levels. I did extra courses like First Aid, got invovled in community projects that helped broaden my experince in understanding the different people in my community and this gave me the personal skills that greatly benefited me later in uni.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: To stop stressing about knowing/finding the ‘dream job’ immediately. There’s plenty to learn from the most unexpected places and that so long as you continue to learn from the jobs and experiences at the time, you’ll be better prepared for where you end up. Trust it’ll work out. enjoy the ride!

Job role: Careers adviser

First ever job: Research assistant

Summary of current role: careers advice

Favourite thing about the role: contact with diverse student and public

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: A levels

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Take career advice at school (it wasn’t really available); other options eg BTECs would have been nice

Job role: Students’ Campaigns and Promotions Officer (started post Sept 2020, graduated Bradford College Dec 2020)

First ever job: Lifeguard on waterslide in Gdansk (Poland)

Summary of current role: I started working at the college in September 2020, I manage all the design and promotions for the Personal Development and Students’ Union Teams. This includes all printed and digital materials, social media and the Students’ Union website. I support the team to create visual and engaging resources.

Favourite thing about the role: My passion is to ensure all students can access the information they need about our services/ activities and that they all feel they can take part. I also love how varied my jobs are. One day I will work on poster promoting workshops another day I will be working on BCSU elections campaign. There’s no place for boredom.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I was secondary school student preparing for school leaving exams. I was also supporting my local football team – Lechia Gdansk.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Go for your biggest passion, which is design. Don’t go for family advices like: get a proper qualification like tutoring, artists don’t earn. I’ve done one year at University studying English with teaching specialisation and failed the exam. Then I studied IT course for 2 years which I also failed. Finally I moved to UK 7 years ago where I found my place ( I was 22 years old).

Job role: Team Leader Personal Development

First ever job: Shop Assistant

Summary of current role: I manage the Personal Development and Students’ Union team. My role involves planning and delivering a comprehensive programme of enrichment for all students at college. I oversee the design and delivery of activities, promotion, communication and development of plans, I also put into place processes to record engagement and compile reports on these. I work with college departments on a number of projects that students can get involved with and I work with external agencies to secure funding and opportunities to develop students’ personal and employability skills. My specialisms include partnership projects, skills development and mental wellbeing.

Favourite thing about the role: I have an amazing team and I love working with them on new ideas/ projects.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I was at school, in sixth form, studying for A- Levels in Psychology, Sociology and English Literature

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: If opportunities become available to you, take them. Even if you don’t continue with them, at least you tried something new!

Job role: Lecturer, Carpentry & Joinery

First ever job: Apprentice Carpenter

Summary of current role: To develop and deliver a range of qualifications in Carpentry, and also to lead off campus projects.

Favourite thing about the role: Instilling even the smallest change in a student’s life, often without them realising.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: At 16 I was on a carpentry apprenticeship at Bradford college! at 18 I think I was on a business admin NVQ too. But I have a VERY varied career after that point! up until 4 years ago when I landed at college.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Same as everyone, pay more attention to the opportunities around you, understand how the world really works and lead, don’t follow, fulfill the belief others have in you, don’t waste time.

Job role: Deputy CEO

First ever job: Data inputter for PA sport – this was inputting real time football scores that would go through to BBC sport/Sky

Summary of current role: Reporting to Principal/CEO and Governors on the College’s strategic objective of being a ‘sustainable college’ and to deputise for the Principal/CEO as required.

Favourite thing about the role: The impact it has on supporting the College’s mission of working together to transform lives and having the opportunity to see our students succeed

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: A – levels in Maths, Chemistry and Physics

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: To work harder and take education more seriously

Job role: Head of Health and Safety

First ever job: Milkman

Summary of current role: Keeping all staff, students and visitors safe in an every changing environment. Driving the College to be best in sector from a H&S perspective, and be an aspirational centre of excellence as a college to visit and inspiration to others

Favourite thing about the role: The dynamic and varied day, rising to the challenging and interesting questions and queries we face and providing solution to challenges.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: College, City and Guilds in Electronics. Plus had three part time (at the same time) jobs, milkman, barman and chef.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Be true to yourself, seize every opportunity and listen to my dad more.

Job role: Head of Department

First ever job: Bar staff

Summary of current role: Managing the department of Adult and Community Education at Bradford College. I deal with Community based provision, employability courses and ICT, as well as essential skills courses in ESOL, Maths and English for adult learners.

Favourite thing about the role: Dealing with the public, making a difference and being part of a great team.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: School.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Do exactly what I did and study

Job role: Curriculum Manager / Head of school Early Yrs / H&SC & SCCP

First ever job: Working as a Saturday girl from 15 in a shop selling toiletries and household products

Summary of current role: Managing the curriculum across both FE and HE from level 2 to level 7, including the nurse associates / adult nursing / Sociology & Psychology A Levels / Social work apprentices. Sitting on panels & boards to ensure best practice both locally and beyond.

Favourite thing about the role: The variety of all the strands. Also the overview of seeing the students come in at 16 and progress so well. Chairing meetings and hearing about all the trials / tribulations from staff and helping them to complete their job roles to the best of their ability.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18:I left school at 16 with 1 GCSE in childcare at Grade C to become a nanny for 2 of the teachers. My Biology teacher who I thought was not keen on me knocked on their door one day early September and said Vicky if you do not enrol at 6th form im going to drag you there myself you are wasting your potential. I went into 6th form for 1 year where I did a course to retake my GCSE’s . The grades got me into an NNEB (Nursery nursing) over a 1000 applicant back in 1987 and 28 places. I secured one of these places and was taught in the McMillan Building (many years later I came back to Bradford College as course lead of the very same course!)

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Education is far more important than chasing boys and hanging out on the streets. I thought I was too cool to study and school when infact the cool ones did not have to spend an extra year in education retaking their GCSE’s

Job role: Lecturer in Counselling on Counselling and Psychology in Community Settings BA (Hons)

First ever job: I worked in a Greengrocers when I was 15

Summary of current role: I am a lecture – I support students learning through tutorials and lectures

Favourite thing about the role: I love to see students grow in confidence

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18:I left school at 15, I was married at 16 and had my son at just 17.By 18 I worked part time on the twilight shift of a company making foam cushions for sofas

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Don’t leave school at 15!

Job role: Beauty Therapy Lecturer

First ever job: Print Finisher in a factory

Summary of current role: My Job is the best Job I could have ever wished for, not only do I get to participate in performing Beauty treatments, being part of getting people ready for big events like weddings and parties, proms and holidays but I also get to take part in the journey of the future beauty therapists, nail technicians, make up artists. Taking part and sharing the journey with our students re ignites my love of the Beauty industry continually.

Favourite thing about the role: The Beauty industry is always changing, there is always new skills to develop and learn, I have been learning the trade my whole teaching career.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: Working in a factory.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Go to college, I waited until I was 19, I wish I had gone straight from school and started my dream career earlier.

Job role: Head of Department

First ever job: Washing up in a restaurant in Morecambe. I got paid £2.50 an hour and there were no dishwashers! I had to scrub the pans by hand.

Summary of current role: I lead and manage the college’s English and maths provision for 16-18 year old students.

Favourite thing about the role: English and maths qualifications are absolutely critical to the future success of our students and I really enjoy ensuring as many students as possible leave with one of these qualifications. I also work with a fantastic team of professionals who make working in this area even better. Having the opportunity to work with people who inspire you is priceless. This is a very challenging role but taking it on has been one of the best decisions that I have made.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I was at school taking my ‘A’ Levels in English Literature, History and Religious Studies. I also had a part time job as a waiter in a restaurant.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Get into the university I wanted. I ended up going to a different uni through clearing and on a course that I probably was not that interested in. My first choice had offered me the opportunity to go back and retake my A Levels and they would take me on the following year. At the time going back to school was not an appealing prospect so I decided not to and went through clearing. I ended up leaving that course and working in nightclubs and bars for a couple of years before going back to university in my hometown. I learned that it is never too late to change direction and as long as you apply yourself there are no limits to what you can achieve. It really does bring truth to the saying, ‘if at first you don’t succeed try, try again’.

Job role: Project SEARCH Coordinator

First ever job: I worked in a small local chemist for few months when I first left school before getting a position at the local sewing factory

Summary of current role: For the last 3 years I have been the Coordinator and Tutor on a supported internship project. I am usually based in a classroom inside Next warehouse. I help a small group of interns each year. They all have special educational needs. I support them in the warehouse doing the actual roles and at the start and end of the day we consolidate their learning in the classroom.

Favourite thing about the role: I love the fact that I am helping people to fulfill their ambition of securing full time paid work. Without the programme approximately 6% of our group would get paid work. With the programme its over 70%. Its a fantastic feeling when they get offered their first job.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I left school at 16 with a few O’ Levels. I worked full time in the sewing factory for 7 years

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: I wish I had stayed on at college straight after school. I just wanted to get out and earn some money. The problem with that is that the jobs that I got were low skilled and low paid. I returned to education in my twenties. I had never been to college so I chose an adult residential course that was a year long quick access to University. It’s slightly harder to return to education so I wish I had stuck with it.

Job role: Learning Support Assistant

First ever job: Farm hand

Summary of current role: Assisting students in class to achieve their full potential by showing them different ways to learn something if they are struggling with the conventionally taught methods

Favourite thing about the role: Seeing the students faces light up as they achieve even the smallest goals, seeing this grow their confidence and develop as adults

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I was working on a farm as I was constantly told I was thick or too stupid to get a job that included any reading or writing

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Don’t believe the teachers that were so derogatory, I’m not thick I’ve got an MA since being referred to learner support at Bradford College

Job role: Senior Academic, Team Leader- Construction and Engineering

First ever job: Post Office Counter Clerk

Summary of current role: Looking after Higher Education Courses in Construction and Engineering Department.

Favourite thing about the role: Most of all I love seeing the student journey, proud parent vibes are released. Some of our students have started their journey with us from Level 2 and completed it all the way to L6 (BSc.) I just love being a part of that. I also enjoy helping Program Leaders/Lecturers plan their courses to best suit their learners in their subject specialism and get them ready for the industry. Lastly, but not least, I love planning for the years to come and seeing the impact of that on staff and students. All in all, I truly love being a part of Bradford College and it’s people!!!

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I was in secondary school doing my Scottish ‘Highers’ (equivalent to A-levels), as well as working part-time (holidays and weekends) at the Post Office.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Remember the more you put in the more you will get out. Don’t stop working hard but do what you enjoy best, as only then working hard will be fun!!

Job role: Personal Development Officer

First ever job: Weekend Sales Assistant

Summary of current role: I develop resources and deliver enrichment/ extracurricular activities. These include workshops developing students’ personal and employability skills, bringing in guest speakers, helping the team to create video content for workshops and supporting the SU Staff Team. My specialism is in art, design and photography and many of my workshops utilise skills from these areas to explore current issues.

Favourite thing about the role: My role is so varied, In my role I get to use all the amazing skills I have gathered over my lifetime from all the jobs I have had. I find it exciting and deeply fulfilling that I get to create such dynamic workshop.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I studied A levels and a ND in Graphic design at Bradford College, I also worked in retail on the weekends and I found a love for 35mm film photography in these years.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Do not be afraid to create, create your art, create your path and explore what makes you happy. Embrace real life in your work, follow the stories, you have a wonderful mind and spirit, ensure it is reflected in your work. one day the world will be ready for it, when you are ready to share it.

Job role: CEO

First ever job: Working weekends stacking selves in the local CO-OP supermarket. I was the Pet Food Aisle Guru by the end.

Summary of current role:

– Ensuring that our students are safe and healthy (Safeguarding Duty of

-Ensuring that our staff are safe and healthy (H&S at Work Act)

– Ensuring that everyone is treated in accordance to the College Values and within the Equalities Act.

– Being a Champion for Education

– Being a Champion of Learning and achievement

– Being the principle Voice to external stakeholders

– Making sure the College is financially sustainable

– Making sure that as a College we are ‘Working together to Transform Lives’ Simply really, anyone could do it.

Favourite thing about the role: Meeting students and staff, seeing the positive impacts that we are having and sharing in and celebrating in the fantastic work the College is doing.

What job or qualification were you doing between the ages of 16-18: I got the CO-OP job half way through my first year in Sixth Form. By the end of my Sixth Form and after my 18 birthday, I got a bar job at a local Pub.

What advice would you give to yourself at 16: Try as many different jobs as you can until you find one that you love doing and then stick to it. The other thing is ‘don’t be too influenced by money or salaries.

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