Starting at Warwick
When I started an undergraduate degree over 10 years ago, I had little idea of what I wanted from my future. As a graduate I found myself mostly in administrative and student services work in Universities and Further Education. I was never quite clear on what my source of work fulfilment was, but over time noticed a pattern of interest in direct student support work.
In 2016 I relocated and now happily work in the Employability and Careers Centre at the University of Surrey, assisting students going on a placement year. With support of colleagues I enrolled in October onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE for a far quicker option!).
Whilst excited, I was nervous about the jump to Postgraduate studies. Could I really manage study at that level? The gap of time since I last studied made me doubt whether I could cope with academic reading (and the essays!). The qualification is mostly distance taught, with a number of short residential workshops. Could I effectively engage with the course when most of it is distance learning?
With these two concerns swimming round and round in my head, I took the train to Warwick in October for my first residential. Sitting in the room on day one, I looked around at everyone else in the room, and felt doubt creep in. “Can I really do this???” I thought to myself.
As the day went on, the residential proved a positive and welcoming start. The course leaders did a great job in welcoming everyone, and CLL in making us feel like Warwick students. Although still nervous about the studying ahead, I felt the negative voice start to lessen, as the excitement about everything I was going to learn began to take its place. As a postgrad, mature and mostly distance student, it will be a different experience.
Following the residential I considered how as an undergraduate student I made little connection with the activities available at my University beyond the lecture theatre. Now I had the chance to try and jump at every opportunity available, even if from a distance to Warwick.
And this is how I find myself writing my first ever blog.
Opportunity number one! I hope this blog will help me to take the time to reflect on my studies, and consider how I am identifying as a student at Warwick. I also hope to help give a blog voice for those studying mainly as a distance student with CLL, and to share my experiences of juggling life and work with study (fingers crossed I can juggle it all!).
About the author
Rose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.
I relocated back near my hometown last year in Surrey, after a decade living near the sea in East Kent. I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, assisting engineering and science students onto a placement year as part of their degree, and providing administrative support to their academic tutors.
I started the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE) in October 2017 and am looking forward to developing a wider awareness of the service I work within, and increasing my confidence and understanding.
I have experienced a year with lots of change, and it is both exciting and daunting to be adding studying back into my life. I have never written a blog and my reasoning for doing so is the hope that it will help me to better reflect on, and share, my experience as a CEIGHE student. My course is mainly distance taught, with a few residential workshops per year. I wanted to also try to share the perspective of being a distance student, and how I will (hopefully!) learn to juggle the balance of study, work and home.
I look forward to the journey ahead!
And if all else fails, maybe the cat can do some of my studying for me?