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Emma Webb

Name: Emma Webb

MA Career Development and Coaching Studies, BA (Hons) 2+2 Social Studies

Building skills and confidence during my undergraduate

My journey started in 2015 when I decided at the age of 35 years with four children aged between 2 and 16 years, to return to education. I contacted my local college with a view to doing the Access to Higher Education Course. However, when I visited the college, I met an amazing lecturer Keith Rathbone who told me about the 2+2 degree pathway with the University of Warwick, it sounded to good to be true and actually when I arrived home to tell my husband I had a place at the university of Warwick he thought I was going mad (I can’t actually repeat what he said ha-ha). In fact, he didn’t believe me until the letter arrived confirming my place on the 2+2 Social Studies degree.

The next four years were spent studying hard whilst trying to bring up my four children. In fact, it was the best thing I ever did! I graduated in 2019 with a BA Hons in Social studies achieving a 2.1 classification, and I could not of been happier, Graduation day was amazing and something I never imagined I would be doing.

Throughout the four years of my undergraduate, I had taken on extra roles at university including Student Ambassador, Digital Skills Mentor and Student Blogger and took part in various events and projects. All of this helped build my confidence massively both as a person and in my abilities. It also led to me reconsidering what I wanted to do with my future.

A big part of these roles had been supporting current students as well as speaking to prospective students about the course and my time at Warwick. This consequently played a big part in my decision to pursue a career where I would be supporting other mature learners in some way or another. I began looking at various master’s programmes and finally decided on an MA in Career Development and Coaching Studies also with the University of Warwick. I applied for the MA, and not only did I get accepted but I got a full scholarship.

Finishing my master’s during the pandemic wasn’t easy

October 2019, I started my MA, I think I was still in shock, I never thought I would get an undergraduate degree never mind a postgraduate. Anyway, here I was and loving every minute. I also started working part time for my local college ‘the same college where my journey had begun’ All was going well, I was enjoying the MA and my job was going well and then COVID-19 hit, and suddenly I was working, studying and became a teacher to my youngest then 6 years. It all got to much and in May 2020 I decided to defer a year of my MA it wasn’t a decision I took lightly but felt it was the best thing for myself and my family.

Fast forward 12 months and I had a new job, still at the college but a full-time role in a different department, and I returned to complete my MA. I was very close to not returning, unsure whether I would be able to do it, but I am so glad that I did, again it wasn’t easy but with the continued support from everyone I did it and in October 2021 I received the confirmation I had passed my MA and achieved a Merit, absolutely over the moon is an understatement.

Becoming a Registered Career Development Professional

I continued working at the college for a little while longer, but I then decided that I wanted to put the skills I had learnt into practice. I registered with the Career Development Institute (CDI) to become a Registered Career Development Professional (RCDP), I began helping friends and family with their CV’s and career guidance. I also began looking jobs within the Careers field, I applied and got offered a few different positions, but decided to accept the role I’m in now and in February 2022 I began my new role as Learner Progression Officer with Netcom Training LTD. Netcom training is an independent training provide delivering digital course to learners over the age of 19 years.

My role is to support the learner’s progression into employment, this involves me supporting them to create a professional looking CV, Interview support, offering them career guidance with a view to ultimately securing suitable and meaningful employment. In the four months that I have been in this position I have supported numerous learners into employment, and I can honestly say that I am absolutely loving the role, it is so rewarding and has made the last six years of studying worth every minute.

Deciding to go back to university was the best decision I ever made, it has changed mine and my families lives for the better and has definitely helped me grow as a person and realise my own potential.

Thank you to all my family, friends and all the staff at the Centre for Lifelong Learning who have all supported me massively throughout my journey, I could not have done it without you all.