Staff blog for Colleges Week - we shape, make and transform lives

I provide individualised and group support to students, setting targets and discussing their progress, to help them overcome barriers that may stand in the way of them achieving their goals. I’m here to listen to students, offer advice or signpost them to services and opportunities available to them.

Umar Rafique, Intervention Officer

I love Bradford College, it’s the heart of Bradford! It’s a family made up of a diverse mix of people working together through a shared passion for education. It’s a bustling but friendly and welcoming place. I love the people here and the environment. Everyone has their own story, to listen to so many different ones is just amazing. Every day has its own challenges and successes and that creates a real buzz around the place. I am proud of working at Bradford College.

College does not only provide education but also a platform to develop your skills, to interact with people from all walks of life. It sets you up for opportunities.

Bradford College has played a big part in who I am today. Born and bred in Manningham, I have come through the same system, socialised and played in the same fields, parks and streets, no different than the young people at College today.

I came here knowing that I wanted to help people and have a positive impact on their lives. I walked through the doors of Bradford College as a Law student in 2010 and graduated in 2013. Just after completing my degree, I was elected as the Vice President of Bradford College Students’ Union. This opportunity is offered to all and I took it with both hands! This was the platform, the environment for me to do what I wanted to do. I worked closely with senior College staff to support other staff members and, most importantly, the students who elected me to make a change, to organise campaigns and events, and to improve education and facilities. This is a place that accepts everyone, allows change and helps you to pursue your ambition.

In the summer of 2015, I went from student to staff as I took on the role of Progress Coach. This job involved supporting students to develop, progress, and achieve their goals. Ever since, many of my students have gone on to complete a degree, start an apprenticeship, or are in employment.

Through all of this I faced my own challenges, like every person does. Having battled meningitis in my final year of studying, and undergoing two major surgeries in 2014 and 2019, the support I received from Bradford College has been immense. I know things can get difficult and challenging, but with the exceptional help and support of the College, support services, lecturers, and colleagues, I kept going.

Umar Rafique, Intervention OfficerBradford College is a brilliant place to study, train and work. It provides the environment, the opportunities for you to become who you want to be. My advice: work hard, respect everyone, be positive, make the most of what you have, and have a blast! At Bradford College, we don’t just continue to educate people, we shape, make and transform lives.

#LoveOurColleges

Umar Rafique, Intervention Officer, Early Years, Social Care and Progression department.