Completing the PG Cert actually enabled me to go on and secure a new role, which is 100% relevant to the course content. My new role is as Teaching Fellow and involves lots of 1:1s, as well as curriculum design and assessment.
More about Stacey
What made you decide to undertake postgraduate study at NTU?
"Having worked in higher education since graduating from my first postgraduate degree in 2009, I had been considering completing a qualification in career for some time."
"I spoke with the Head of Careers at the institution I was working for at the time, who recommended the NTU course to me. Alongside this recommendation, I was particularly impressed by the blended learning model – this meant that I could do most of the work at home, travelling to Nottingham just once a month or so for contact days."
What route did you take into your postgraduate study?
"I completed a bachelors and masters degree just under a decade before starting my PG Cert at NTU. I then took a couple of years out before coming back to study for the PG Dip."
What did you know about NTU before you came here?
"Having spoken to colleagues within the institution that I was working at the time, I knew that NTU and, in particular, the career development course, had a great reputation across the sector. Other than that, I didn’t know a great deal!"
What were the key factors that attracted you to the course?
"The blended learning approach utilised on the Career Development programme really appealed to me, as I was working full-time and did not want to have to give up socialising and playing netball unless I absolutely had to. When choosing a course for postgraduate study, what did you consider it important to have?
"For me, choosing this course was very different from selecting my first postgraduate degree. This programme was chosen for how it would develop me as a careers professional, rather than simply sating an academic interest. However when I actually started the course I realised it could – and does – do both!"
Is there anything that stood out on your course that wasn't offered anywhere else you applied?
"I only applied to NTU, as I was confident that it was the right course to me. However compared to other courses, the flexibility offered by NTU is far superior to other courses that I initially considered and is more appropriate for my situation."
Do you use NOW? How do you find it useful?
"Yes. As a blended learning programme, a lot of my course content is delivered and supported through NOW. It took a little bit of getting used to, but once I’d navigated my way around the system, it has become fundamental to my learning experience."
If you are working as well as studying, what does your job entail and how do you juggle both?
"I worked full-time and studied during my PG Cert and it was pretty intense, but manageable with the right amount of organisation and planning. I ended up being quite poorly during the second semester, but I alerted the module and course leaders early on and managed to get an extension on my assignment – something which I was really grateful for! I am still working full-time now (albeit in a different role) alongside studying for the PG Dip. It’s perhaps harder to juggle my work-life balance now, as this was already challenging as an academic, but I’m confident that I’ll manage. I think knowing that this part of the course is only for a few months makes a big difference to my mindset."
How will your course benefit your career?
"Completing the PG Cert enabled me to go on and secure a new role, which is 100% relevant to the course content. My new role is as Teaching Fellow in Employability and Personal Development and involves lots of 1:1s, as well as curriculum design and assessment. I decided to come back and complete the next stage of the programme (the PG Dip) as this will further enhance my skills, knowledge and experience in this arena."
Have your career plans changed as a result of your postgraduate study?
"Absolutely. Prior to starting the PG Cert, I thought I would study straight through to gain the Qualification in Career Development (QCD). However, I secured a new job shortly after the PG Cert, which meant that this had to wait for a little while."
What are your plans for the future?
"I am due to start a professional doctorate right after I finish the PG Dip. The doctorate is likely to focus on supporting students from backgrounds that are typically under-represented in the sector, perhaps with a careers guidance twist. Studying for the PG Cert gave me the confidence to apply for the EdD, and I’m hoping that finishing the PG Dip will give me the right theoretical understanding to underpin doctoral study in this area.”
How have you found the postgraduate community in Nottingham? Is it what you expected?
"As a distance learner, I don’t really find myself on campus enough to blend in to the broader postgraduate community in Nottingham. However, the other people on my course have been great, really friendly and supportive – a good course community makes the experience so much more manageable!"
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your course?
"The PG Cert in Career Development at Nottingham Trent University has provided me with a model for performing 1:1 guidance in an ethical and professional way; an analysis of partnership and collaborative working, as well as a thorough understanding of the policy surrounding CEIAGD delivery."
"Learning via the blended route has been ideal for me as the weekly online activities keep me engaged with the module, whilst the contact days allow for a more in depth examination of the course content."
"Since completing the PG Cert, I went on to secure a new role as Teaching Fellow in Employability and Personal Development at Leeds University Business School. This was an excellent step for me and one that I know I would not have secured without the skills, knowledge and experience gained through the PG Cert at NTU. In particular, my understanding of the wider frameworks of professional practice and the scope of employability across the sector enabled me to put forward a persuasive case for appointment to the role."