Former student returning to college a second time

Nina DunneAlumni Association members will recall that last year we spoke to former student Nina Dunne, who’d just finished an Access to HE course with us.

Nina was planning to study at the University of Brighton and begin working towards her dream job in the education sector, but she suffered a setback when she found out the course had been cancelled.

It was a huge blow, but did she let it stop her? Of course not. After speaking to a student advisor she decided to return to City College to study an Education and Training Level 3 course, which she completed earlier this summer.

Nina is now working as a Gifts and Stewardship Assistant at Brighton University and preparing for her degree course to begin in September. We spoke to her to find out more about her second time at City College, her plans for the future, and turning crisis into opportunity.

This was your second time at City College, Nina, how has the past year influence your career plans?

I enjoyed being back at City College. The support I received from the Teacher Education department enabled me to reassess my career plans and focus on my strengths.

Through studying the Education and Training Level 3 course I realised that I was more interested and knowledgeable about the area of student support and virtual learning environment than I was in traditional classroom teaching. I discovered my strengths are one-to-one support rather than lecturing.

That’s great! So have your future plans changed as a result?

In five years’ time I would like to be working in the student support area, either as a student support and guidance tutor, a widening participation outreach worker or supporting students via a virtual learning environment.

I also have an interest in art so working as an educator in a museum or being a facilitator in an art therapy group both appeal to me.

You’re also working at Brighton University at the moment, what does that involve?

My role involves logging philanthropic donations to the University of Brighton and thanking the donors. I love the fact that the donations go to so many different areas, towards research (such as cancer or water sanitation research), community projects oversees and to student awards, bursaries and scholarships.

Are you excited to begin studying at university?

Definitely! I have lots of things I hope to achieve in my time as a student at university. As a member of the Student Union Grand Parade Campus Action Team I want to create a peer support group for other students.

I hope to make my role as a Gifts and Stewardship Assistant more visible as I believe not enough students know about all the grants and bursaries they are entitled to apply for. In year two I hope to study in central Europe or Scandinavia for a term.

Read our other story on Nina here

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