I left ALNS in 2004, went to South Downs College, Chichester College and then Colchester Institute to continue studying drama and musical theatre, which was always my favourite subject at school.
I graduated university in 2010 and moved back to Portsmouth, unsure of what to do as I didn’t feel that I had the skill set to be the actor that I had previously wanted to be. At the time I had a part time waitressing job, and was offered training to be a shift manager and thought- if it’s free training, it’s got to be worth it for the CV.
Four years later I was a restaurant manager and involved with volunteering for a youth group in my spare time. I wanted a job where I had more personal satisfaction and applied for a job as a youth worker, stating my transferable skills from managing and developing a team, and mentoring and running group activities to meet the job description. I was blessed to be offered the position and after four years of taking every opportunity to challenge myself and gain experience, I was promoted to an operations manager role, which is currently what I am doing.
My biggest achievement since leaving school is a tough question. I’d be tempted to say that it’s being able to live alone, pay my bills, look after myself and stay reasonably sane with my own company… but a close second would be getting my most recent promotion- I worked really hard to prove I could do it, and it eventually paid off.
I’m not sure what my future goals are. At the moment I’m focusing on being the best I can be at my job and keeping my house in reasonable order! I like life to be more spontaneous than planned so will just have to see where life takes me! Just want to have my own family and go on lots of adventures!
My advice to ALNS students would be:
- if there is training available, take it! Make the most of what life offers you.
- volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! It’s the way to get the “experience” that employers want but you can’t get without the chance, it also speaks volumes about the effort you are willing to go to and the person you are.
Also, remember that life isn’t all about qualifications. There are many routes out there if you are not a strong academic, but you need to be willing to try at whatever you are doing. People everywhere are willing to help you, but life won’t get handed to you. Give every opportunity your best and no one can ask for more than that.