"Take voluntary work rather than doing nothing"
Under my author name of Rosalie Marsh, I write and publish travel biographies and travel based fiction. I also write and publish a series of user-friendly workbooks – the ‘Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides’. My aim is to inspire people of all ages to push back their boundaries to realise their potential.
Before becoming an author, I worked in work-based learning FE colleges managing a client load of apprenticeships. I combined this with my work as an External Verifier and Key Skills Standards Moderator with OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations). I officially retired in 2007 but worked until late 2008 in a freelance capacity, project managing key skills/apprenticeship framework achievement for engineering and electrician apprentices. By 2009, I had published my first travel biography, followed by a series of personal development books.
Having a degree enhanced not only my CV but also people's perception of me; I feel that I was taken more seriously. My course gave me an insight into the fundamental aspects of learning, I nurtured an appreciation of academic writing and the course research stretched me intellectually.
My degree course fell into the CPD framework for in-service teachers and trainers. It allowed me to develop and enhance my contribution to work-based learning as I worked with learners of all ages to help them to succeed.
Don't expect to walk straight into a top job. You may have to learn from the bottom but your degree should allow you to progress faster.
Before you graduate, start a CPD portfolio and make sure you maintain it with constant review and further action planning. This is your own personal record of your professional development. A well-constructed CPD portfolio demonstrates to an employer that you have taken control of your own learning and development and are of value. Take voluntary work rather than doing nothing; the world does not owe you a living.
The course leader, whom herself was studying for further qualifications, had a fresh approach to this new course and was approachable. The tutors at Halton College (now Riverside) too, they convinced me that I could achieve my degree. Due to my work, I did not have the opportunity for much traditional teaching practice and they steered me towards this particular degree.
The flexibility of the module-based course was very beneficial, I could easily choose how and when to fit the selected modules around my life