How Learning While Earning Created New Adventures for Me

By Ryan Hinson (MA in Professional Studies student at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) – also former FdA and BA Professional Studies student)

I’ve always been the kind of person who is seeking out the next challenge. I was keen to get a degree but I needed to stay in work which made the Foundation Degree in Professional studies at BGU a perfect option.

It’s incredibly flexible and meant I could still pay my bills and spend time with my kids while I learned it was a difficult balance but definitely worth it.

That everyone is working part-time while they study (I was working 4 days a week as 1:1 Teaching Assistant in a primary school) is one of the great things about the foundation degree because it means all of us understand each other’s backgrounds and how to provide support. Even though I was the only man on the course I wasn’t left out and I was able to build a connection with the other students on my course.

Those connections helped me enjoy the course and build momentum to carry me through onto both the undergraduate and postgraduate professional studies degree courses. The lecturers were also incredibly supportive and offer a wealth of knowledge, they definitely make you feel like they’re alongside you throughout your degree.

Completing the foundation degree gave me the confidence to apply for new jobs and I’m now running my own after school clubs, teaching sport and supporting larger groups of children. All my confidence came from my degree, you gain experience giving presentations and you can learn from students around you.

Once I finish my masters I will probably stay in the job I’m currently in as I really enjoy it, but I’d also like to write a book on my experiences as a male in Primary Education. I’m a father to two children and would love to explore how my relationship with them has guided my professional work. I definitely feel like it gives me perspective in my teaching role, I try to be calm and empathetic with the children and parents I work with – as I hope people would be with my kids!

I find working with children as the most rewarding job available and would definitely recommend more men consider it as a potential career paths. It has huge personal development benefits and the children really respond to male role models. Don’t think of Primary work as just for women, there are loads of amazing opportunities for guys who want to follow that path.

Looking back now I’m so pleased I took on the courses at BGU, I’m a different person to when I started and I wouldn’t be where I am, in a job I love, if I hadn’t.

If you’re interested in following a new career that allows you to earn while you learn our Foundation Degree courses are the perfect place to start. Visit our website, contact a member of our Enquiries Team or join us on one of our Open Days for more information.

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