Anna MacDonald completed our Gateway to HE course in March 2020 before starting the part-time BA in Social Studies. Here she shares why she decided to give returning to study a go…
After leaving Sixth Form about four years ago, I really wasn’t interested in Higher Education. I got my first job in retail and worked there for about 3 years. In January 2019, I decided that I was ready to move on from retail and started applying for administrative jobs at the University of Warwick. In March 2019, I was successful in getting a (on-going temporary) Receptionist position at Unitemps, Warwick Employment Group and in September 2019, I was offered and I accepted another position as (on-going temporary) Operations Assistant at Warwick Employment Group. Working for the University really opened my eyes to the academic world. The Operations and Compliance manager was so supportive of me to develop myself and always put me my name forward for different courses at the University.
My Mum has worked for Warwick Business School for over twenty years and did the Social Studies degree a number of years ago and some of her colleagues had done the Gateway course. After speaking with my Mum about ways I can progress, we started researching about the Gateway course and in November 2019, I applied for the evening Gateway course for a number of reasons; Social Studies is a subject I would’ve chosen to study if I went to University after Sixth Form, I was recommended by previous Gateway Students and I also knew that I was fully supported at work and at home. In December 2019, I went for my interview with Steve and was offered a place on the Gateway starting in March 2020.
As March 2020 approached, so did COVID-19 and I was worried about how the Gateway would be adapted and was also worried that it may even be cancelled. However, Steve quickly adapted to the situation and the Gateway started online the first Tuesday of lockdown. Steve made the Gateway course so interesting, and we all received so much support from Steve, CLL and we had introductions to the library. I found the Gateway extremely helpful because we were slowly introduced to reading, essay writing, references etc. and it made me feel like I could actually be a student. I was furloughed from April, so I put all my time and effort in to the Gateway and I passed the Gateway with 74%.
My journey has made me feel so confident and motivated to study. I’m doing the Foundations to Social Studies and Health, Wealth and Social Policy modules this year and it is flying by – I am really enjoying studying. I have Mondays off and my seminars are in the evenings, so I can balance my work and study. I credit Steve Gascoigne for quickly adapting to the COVID-19 situation, making sure that we get the best out of each Gateway session and making me feel confident in my writing. I also want to credit my Mum for her continued help and support with my study and my manager Jane, for always being interested in my study and making me excited to work at the Innovation Centre. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
If you’d like to learn more about the Gateway to HE and have any questions, book an open call with our recruitment team to have your questions answered!