I was working at Mind in Barnet at the time and wanted a course to give me greater research skills while still working. Middlesex was therefore the obvious choice.
I was attracted by the ability to study at a high level while still continuing to work. Indeed my studying was focused on my work at the time so it was a no brainer.
I found the research aspects of my course to be the most enjoyable; this provided me with new skills and understanding which have been useful in so many ways, not just to achieve my MA.
Without question my fondest memory is of the Graduation Ceremony. Not only because it was the culmination of was a lot of work but because one of the recipients of an Honorary Doctorate, was Johnny Vegas, himself an alumnus of the University. He gave an impromptu performance which had everyone falling off their seats with laughter, except of course those responsible for keeping the event to time. Just brilliant!
Do it! I did my Masters in later life but I wish I had done it years before. The skills learnt have been invaluable in my working life.
I was working as the Chief Executive at Mind in Barnet when I completed the course but the studying sowed the seeds for further research and assisted me in moving on to work for a regional and now national charity.
That's a difficult one, I think the analytical and methodical approach developed during my studies are used every day but certainly when planning new work projects the skills are very much used. Most recently I suppose I used the skills to submit a bid for European funding, I am still waiting to hear if I got the money but the bid itself was sound & had merit.
I started out my working career as a research chemist but changed direction in the mid 1980s to work in the voluntary and not for profit sector. Don't expect to earn a huge fortune from working in the sector but you can go home and reflect on the positive impact you have made or are making to society.
I had worked in a voluntary capacity in various charities since leaving school but my first real job came working for a small homeless persons' charity in Bedford, Homes for Homeless People, where I was appointed as the Development Co-ordinator.
There have been a number of highlights, being awarded the MBE was of course one of those but I think the most impact on me was when I was working for Save the Children and my campaign work was around the issue of child soldiers. I found my six month contract to be one of the most rewarding times of my life and I got to close Whitehall for some filming.
Don't set your initial sights too high, a foot in the door can lead on to great things.
Do get lots of voluntary experience working in organisations that you feel passionate about.
Be passionate about what you do.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." Albert Einstein.