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The quality and depth of learning support and wider opportunities at NTU is staggering.

More about James

NTU alumni, James Brown, studied three qualifications at NTU - a Sports Science and Computing for Science BSc, a Public Service Management Post-Graduate Certificate and most recently, an MA in Education. James shares his experiences of studying with NTU, the highlights, and his current exciting role in the Education industry.

Why did you choose to study at NTU?

At the time, I was keen to be in Nottingham to maintain some of my sports interests and I knew that NTU had a broad range of courses which suited my interests. I was living at home and working in the city, and with a significant sport commitment in the city so I decided to stay at NTU rather than study further afield. For my postgraduate studies, I chose NTU because I had a good undergraduate experience and now, I live in Nottingham and have a family, being local was really important for me.

What did you learn – both inside and outside of lectures?

Firstly, the diversity of students is amazing. It’s nice to be around so many people from such a range of backgrounds. Secondly, NTU offers a richness beyond teaching alone. You may think your course is well delivered and structured, but the quality and depth of learning support and wider opportunities at NTU is staggering. You really cannot come to NTU and feel alone as there are so many communities to join and feel a part of.

What does your current day involve?

Currently, I am Managing Director of Inspiring Leaders, which provides post graduate teacher training and support leaders of Multi Academy Trust (groups of schools) Leaders. We facilitate learning and improvement in a range of ways, and I love it.

What attracted you to this field of work?

I am passionate about education and the power it has to transform society. My experience of school was patchy, and I am committed to ensuring pupils get a great experience of school, because you only get once chance! I have worked in a few roles now which have led me to this point. The power of partnership and collaboration are key drivers for me.

How has your degree influenced your career?

My postgraduate studies in public service management and then my MA in Education have been specifically linked to my work and help me to improve my approach, without question.

What challenges have you faced?

Life can be hard, and especially when creating the right balance between work, studies, and social life. I struggled at times to be motivated to complete tasks that I didn’t find relevant or interesting, and I have to work on this. I am sure other students can relate to this.

What have been the highlights and biggest challenges of your career so far?

I’ve been really lucky to experience some amazing things in my career. For example, travelling abroad on research visits, being nominated to attend the Queen’s Garden party, but if I’m honest it’s the individual impact I am most motivated by. When our trainees graduate as teachers, when leaders go onto promotions - it’s this I am most proud of. I like the idea of creating a legacy and developing people and organisations sits at the heart of this.

What are your plans for the future?

I am not totally sure, but for now I am engaged in being a good father, husband and friend but am very committed to my current role and achieving great things here. We have a very clear mission at Inspiring Leaders, and I am passionate about the impact it will make on pupils lives if we deliver.

If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at uni?

I’d say, “work harder and take advantage of all of your opportunities”.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our alumni community?

Some of the best advice I was ever given was ‘Work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work’ and I believe this is a brilliant mantra for life.

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