BSc (Hons) Sports Studies & PGCE Primary Education
Graduated Undergraduate - 2012 and Postgraduate - 2013
Ballyclare Primary School
Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
supplying me with the opportunities necessary to develop skills for future employment. I was lucky to be involved with numerous programmes that gave me invaluable experience in the area that I was interested in. It helped develop my confidence, time management, teamwork and leadership skills.
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
The two main programmes I was involved in was Sports Outreach and GymFUN. Both programmes enabled me to work with primary school aged children. I completed my placement with Sports Outreach and it increased my confidence exponentially.
I had numerous and various opportunities and experiences within this, from taking PE in primary schools to organising festivals in the university. These opportunities gave me connections with primary schools that I used for my PGCE.
GymFUN was a fantastic programme to be a part of because it was something that made me stand out from the hundreds of PGCE applicants. It developed many skills, including leadership and management as I was given the role of Head coach in my final year at Jordanstown.
How placement enhanced my employability
Placement was an integral part of my undergraduate degree as not only did it enhance my employability, it prepared me for final year. My placement within Sports Outreach developed my organisational and administrative skills when I was based in office, while it also developed my teaching and coaching.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- My first significant step was being accepted onto the Primary Education PGCE at Coleraine.
- From this PGCE I was employed straight away by a local primary school and I am now in my fourth year at that same primary school. I am lucky enough that I have never been unemployed and I put that down to the experiences I gained at Ulster University.
- One of my biggest moments within in my career has been organising a sports festival in my primary school with all 500 pupils involved in participating in various sports throughout the day.
What would your advice to students be?
Have an open mind. I went into my undergraduate course thinking I wanted to be a sports journalist and this changed within my first year.
Get involved with as many programmes as you can and this includes volunteering! Don't get stuck in the mindset that you won't do something unless it's paid! Everyone has to do their time to work their way up.