What inspired you to work in education?

When I moved to the UK in the early 2000’s, I got myself a temp job with the local council but I was determined to get a permanent job in a meaningful sector where I could make a difference. I was already qualified to a PhD level with experience working as a teacher, so it made sense for me to try and get a job in the education sector. I sent out various applications, but I quickly received a letter from Croydon College inviting me for an interview.

What do you love most about your role here?

My first role here was actually my first ever full-time job, and I couldn’t have made a better decision. I quickly realised that I really enjoy education management and with my skills and values, I could make a real difference. I love the great variety of opportunities that I have had access to here at the College. During my time here, I have taken on various roles that have focused on enrolment data, regulations, quality management and audit compliance. I have been fortunate enough to make each role my own and continue to develop my skills and knowledge across various aspects of education management. This has all been possible thanks to the fact that the College really values the skills of individuals, and even when job descriptions have had to change, the new tasks have always been a good fit for my skills set; they have been challenging but manageable.

Have you taken part in any exciting opportunities here at Croydon College?

Every day at the College is exciting! However, I particularly enjoy all of the fantastic activities I take part in throughout the year. I love my involvement in the annual Higher Education graduation ceremony, as it is great to celebrate the wonderful achievements of our students. I’ve taken part in some really good staff development programmes that have helped me develop not just professionally but also as a person. Recently I signed up for a 1:1 coaching programme arranged by the College, with a great trainer whose sessions are really empowering.

Do you take part in any activities outside of work?

I took up powerlifting about three years ago and it has been a complete life-changer. I originally just wanted to get fit, without clear preference for any particular type of sport, my personal trainer who is a powerlifter himself, introduced me to powerlifting and I have enjoyed the experience ever since. He is a Croydon local and runs his own company, so it’s easy to go to the park for training straight after work. Most of the training takes place outdoors, which is another great thing about it. Plus, I have taken part in a couple of competitions at a divisional level but my next target is to qualify for an English championship.

 What have you learnt whilst taking part in powerlifting?

I’ve learnt that it is a significant stress reliever and very important for the mind. Before I took up powerlifting, I had done all sorts of cardio exercises but they never gave me long-term bouts of positive energy. On the other hand, working out with heavy weights does something more permanent to the chemistry of my body.

 Do you have any advice for potential students?

If you are not sure which course to study, talk to the admissions team, who provide essential advice that will help you to pick a course. Be your own best friend, because no matter what happens in your life, you will always have you. Treat yourself with the right balance of “strict” and “kind”: Push yourself towards achievement, but if things don’t go to plan or you mess up, learn from the experience, forgive yourself and move on. Accept help from others when you need it – it really is not a sign of weakness. When someone picks you up when you are down, remember to pay it back, or pay it forward to someone else who might need it. Life is a journey so enjoy the ride!

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