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Programme Lead for Foundation Degree & BsC in Community & Public Services

Starting her career in the hospitality industry in London, Demelza couldn’t be further from her old life in her role at City College Plymouth.

After spending some time in the city, Demelza returned to the south west and embarked on a career in the NHS, supporting general practice to implement policy. When her role came to an end, she made sure to evaluate her options to understand what she wanted to do next.

Demelza decided to return to the world of education, where she pursued studies in social policy and social research, motivated by a deep-seated desire to “do something that helped people and made a difference.” 

Despite her struggles with dyslexia and initial challenges in school, university life marked a turning point, significantly impacting her personal development and uncovering a knack for simplifying complex assignments for her peers. Inspired by her success, Demelza finally considered teaching as a career.

Demelza’s approach to teaching in the public services department at City College is shaped by her diverse experiences and a profound understanding of the value of education. She emphasises the importance of smaller class sizes, which allow for a personalised teaching approach, fostering a deeper understanding of students’ aspirations and tailoring her methods to their unique experiences.

“The way that we teach at the College means I can really get to know my students. I get to understand their career trajectories, find out about their previous experiences and, ultimately, tailor my teaching to help each and every student I teach get there. It’s a very different experience than at university, and I think it’s for the better.”

And, her advice to those considering a career in lecturing is a testament to her journey.

“I’ve loved every minute of my time at the College. I’m thoroughly supported by my colleagues, and in return I support them 100%. We rally around each other when we need it, attend industry training days regularly to keep our knowledge up to date and our wellbeing is a top priority. It’s a great environment to work in.”

“Teaching is absolutely a path filled with challenges and surprises, but also full of immense rewards. You have to be passionate about sharing your knowledge and making a significant impact on students’ lives to work in education, but if you’ve got that, you’ll absolutely love it.”