Sometimes, we need to stop and reflect on our achievements in life.
This year, I was not expecting any massive news until I received a phone call. It was to inform me that, due to my work in Education, I had won an award and will be part of 2019’s Top 30 Under 30’s.
For one thing, it’s great, and an honour to even be nominated. But to actually win?! That was something I was not expecting. After getting off the phone, I told those closest to me about the news and was very overwhelmed!
Did I cry? Oh yes. Did I feel proud? Definitely.
What it did prompt me to do is to look back at how far I’ve come in my career in Education, but also in my personal life – and of course, this blog! If you told me five years ago I would be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed you. Admittedly, it is still very hard to believe!
What is the Top 30 Under 30’s?
The Top 30 Under 30‘s is a new awards scheme ran by Simon Jones, to showcase and recognise young people in careers in Hull and Humber. Ultimately, it’s a reminder that you can live, grow and work in Hull. But it is much more than an award – those who have been selected as the Top 30 this year go onto the LEAP programme over the year to help develop professionally and personally.
So for those who don’t know, by day I advise and guide students when it comes to engaging with their studies at University, but I also review and explore ways of enhancing the student experience in Higher Education and Further Education.
This started back at Hull College, where I have grown from being a student, becoming a member of teaching staff and transitioning to be the Students’ Union President, and now finally becoming a Governor on the board of Corporation.
But being part of the Students’ Union brought my attention to student experience, where I felt that I could help others. I loved theatre, and I loved teaching, but I became more intrigued into the student experience aspect. Now, I do this as a full time job and every day brings different challenges and views.
Would I have it any other way? Nope!
Everything I have learnt, I have been fortunate to apply this in my current job and in my Masters in Education, Inclusion and Special Needs. And for that, I am eternally thankful. But in addition to my full time job, I’ve achieved a lot personally – such as this blog. What started as a hobby, has helped grow opportunities for networking. Be it with business or fellow bloggers!
But it is not just about the hobbies or improving my content, my confidence and self-belief has grown. If I were to tell you when I was very young, I couldn’t speak and had to have a teaching assistant with me all the time, would you believe me? Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed you either.
So far, I have:
- Worked on over 200 shows in theatre, both locally and nationally
- Judged on Rock Challenge locally and nationally
- Taught and helped students in my teaching role
- Elected as Enterprise Officer, before being elected to a sabbatical post as President of Hull College Students’ Union
- Transitioned from a Student Governor to Governor, and now Vice Chair on Corporation at Hull College
- Completed my higher education degrees in Stage Management and Technical Theatre and PGCE (pre-service), and I have nearly completed my MA in Education, Inclusion and Special Needs
- Presented at several conferences locally, nationally and internationally for Student Experience
- Received an Associate Fellowship in Higher Education (I’m slowly working towards my Fellowship!)
- Became a Quality Assurance Agency Student Reviewer
- Co-founded HEY. Bloggers
- Rebranded and started collaborating on reviews with local and national businesses for Emma Picks
- Trained as a Mental Health and Suicide First Aider
- Been involved in Hullywood Icons as Dorothy (and ran its Twitter account)
- Now receiving my first award for the Top 30 under 30’s!
Writing out this blog post reminds me how far I have come along, and that I’m ready for future challenges and opportunities. It’s not always about buying a house or having my own family at this moment in time for (NB: though they are two of those things I would like to do in the future) but it’s demonstrating how much you have grown as an individual.
My motto in life is if the opportunity is not there – then create it! We are all capable of making change and achieving anything we set our minds to.
But ultimately, thank you to everyone who has been supporting me! You have no idea how much it personally means to me.
Until next time,