Case study – Using the pandemic as an opportunity to diversify skill sets

Posted: February 2, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic has upheaved many people’s lives, and mature student, Joseph Baxter, was no exception.

Although he had worked in the financial and legal sector for 18 years, the pandemic meant he no longer had a job within the sector, which sparked a change in Joseph.

Geography had always been a keen passion of his, and this momentary break in his life made way for an exciting new opportunity to return to education to study Access to Higher Education in Science Diploma Level 3 at Leeds City College.

Rerouting his career direction 

Failing to secure a place at university 10 years ago had always been an obstacle in Joseph achieving his dream of studying a geography degree. 

“I left full-time education at 17 years old, but had always hoped to return to learning to enhance my skill set. Although the course was challenging at times, and I had some apprehension with maths, the support from my tutors helped me complete the course with full distinctions. 

“The programme, which was held both virtually and face-to-face, allowed me to master the use of digital tools and develop my knowledge of interesting topics such as biology, chemistry and study skills. The course was a great reintroduction to education, supporting me in boosting my written skills by devising a range of written materials, such as academic posters and written reports.

“These skills have been incredibly useful in aiding my learning on the course and will help to enhance my future academic opportunities.”

All the skills to succeed

While originally nervous about returning to education after 10 years, Joseph was determined to push himself to reach new heights.

“This learning has given me a real focus during an incredibly unprecedented time. Adult learning has enabled me to have a positive outlook on life, giving me the confidence to pursue my ambitions. My tutors have helped me realise my potential and I’m incredibly grateful to them.

“After completing this course, I secured a place to study Geography with Transport Studies at University of Leeds. I hope that I will be able to make use of the skills I have learnt to make a difference in my area and for the people that live there.”

Find out more about adult Access courses here.

Geography student

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