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Alexander Pepe

Alex Pepe, BA Primary Education

Alumni Profile: Alex Pepe - BA Primary EducationTeacher, Coleridge Primary School

BA Primary Education, 2012

What made you choose Middlesex University?

There were a number of reasons why I chose Middlesex but probably top of the list were the great reputation it has – a lot of my primary teachers had trained there -  and the location as it was close to home so meant I could keep my job.

What attracted you to your course and made you choose the industry you studied for?

I wanted to work in a profession where there would be new challenges each day and in teaching every day is different. You have to get up each day with fresh energy and never know what surprises or challenges your day will bring.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I really enjoyed interacting with my tutors who were all incredibly helpful and approachable. They really took the time to get to know us as individuals. I also really enjoyed meeting new people who were on the course with me and working on tasks with them. A lot of our activity was very practical and directly applicable to a primary school setting.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

Probably meeting people and making close friends, as well as developing close working relationships with my tutors. I still keep in touch with some of my tutors and update them on my progress. All our tutors really knew us and if we gave our all, they gave their all.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Really throw yourself into the activities on your course and don't be self conscious. You need to give your course all that you can.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

It really prepared me well as many of the things I learnt could be applied straight away. Additionally, the support available outside of standard tutorial hours, such as help with my CV, interview preparation and general guidance from tutors, played a major part in helping me get where I am professionally.

What are the pros and cons of working within your professional field?

The pros are the people you get to work with, seeing the children develop and being there when they need someone to talk to. The cons are that your working hours can often be long, including evenings and weekends, and the paperwork!  It's all worth it though.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

Through my time at university as I got a job at one of the placement schools I had really loved working at. My tutor advised me to keep in contact with them, so I remained in touch and asked them about job openings. One eventually came up and they remembered me from my time there and offered me the job which was fantastic.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

There have been so many, making it hard to pinpoint just one! Probably the biggest highlight of the job is building foundations and relationships with the children.

What does the future hold for you?

The future holds many things; I am going to be staying on at the school for another year, but I will be taking on additional responsibilities. I am also hoping to become a mentor for trainee teachers coming from Middlesex for a placement.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

You need to be a teacher for yourself and know why you are going into it. Some people sign up to be teachers because they are not sure what they do and it is normally these people who drop out. It really is a vocation and something you have to be passionate about.

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