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Heather Collier


Course studied: BA (Hons) French and Spanish

United Kingdom
“The language skills I learned at university have been invaluable in my current role in the travel industry and, thanks to my time spent on teaching placements in Madrid and Paris, I became Halsbury's resident Paris and Madrid specialist.”

More about Heather

Current Job Title: Police Constable, Nottinghamshire Police

Tell us why you chose to study at NTU.

“I have to be honest and say that I was accepted onto the course through UCAS Clearing; however NTU was one of a number of options including some “red brick” institutions. After some research, I decided that NTU offered the best opportunities during the course; it also had the highest student satisfaction rate out of the universities I was considering. I have never once regretted my decision and could not have been happier with my time at university and the experiences it afforded me!”

What did you enjoy most about your course?

“I enjoyed learning about France, French culture, and the French language in a different way to my time at school (and eventually learning about Spain in the same way). Modern Languages courses offer a broad and well-rounded education that includes linguistics, literature, politics, cinema, and history, and provide great opportunities and platforms for discussion and debate. I picked up books and films that I might never have looked twice at in the past and discovered plenty of new music – Stromae is a must for any French student!”

What did you think about the course staff? How did they support your learning and university experience?

“On the whole, the course staff were knowledgeable, friendly, and approachable. I was particularly impressed by the Language Resource Centre at Clifton Campus, its facilities, resources, and helpful staff, who were always able to offer great guidance and suggest suitable study aids, as well as pairing up home students with Erasmus students for language exchanges.”

Would you recommend NTU and your course to someone looking to study in that area? If so, why?

“NTU is a truly international university with strong links to other universities and institutions across Europe and the world, which is ideal for Modern Languages students looking to undertake a placement year or semester abroad, particularly at a partner university.”

How has your career developed since leaving NTU?

“Since graduating from NTU, I have completed another sort of “placement year” as a British Council English Language Assistant. I applied to go to Paris and was selected to be one of 13 assistants on the Boulogne Billancourt Prestigious Programme! Since returning to the UK in 2015, I have been using my French and Spanish skills working at an educational tour operator and I am about to start training as a police constable with Nottinghamshire Police.”

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

“It is difficult to pinpoint one individual highlight, but a perk of my current role has to be the travel. Away from the travel industry, passing the police recruitment process was the hardest thing I've ever done and by far my proudest achievement, and I hope that I can use my skills and experience to make a difference.”

What are your favourite aspects / greatest challenges of your current role?

“My current role has given me opportunities and experiences that I might not have had in another job or industry. I have been skiing; led groups of teenagers abroad as they embarked on their language-learning journeys; seen major international football teams play at their home stadiums; and become an expert-level Disney travel agent.”

How have your studies contributed to your career / current successes?

“The language skills I learned at university have been invaluable in my current role in the travel industry and, thanks to my time spent on teaching placements in Madrid and Paris, I became Halsbury's resident Paris and Madrid specialist. My experience also helped me to better understand the unique pressures that teachers face.”

Do you have any advice to share with new graduates or other alumni?

“When it comes to your career, follow your heart. Money is important but it isn't everything and it's far more important to be happy and have a job or career that is meaningful and fulfilling for you.”

Heather is an Alumni Fellow, she donates her time to support and inspire our current students. Visit our Alumni Fellowship page to find out how you can get involved.

Choosing just one subject to study at university can be a challenge! If you’re stuck weighing up different subjects, a joint honours course could be the ideal solution!

Still need help?

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