From a young age, Jade had dreamed of joining the Army and having shown a natural talent for maths and science at school, she was hoping to one day become an Army medic. Unfortunately for Jade, health conditions made a career in the Army very unlikely, so the former All Saints Academy Plymouth pupil began considering a law career instead.
After her first year of A Levels, Jade’s health deteriorated further and she was forced to withdraw from sixth form. A year later and ready to get her education back on track, Jade completed the Prince’s Trust programme before talking to a careers advisor at City College, who suggested that business could be a good fit based on her interests and previous A Level studies.
Having achieved an outstanding triple distinction star for her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business, Jade is now in her first year of studying for a Foundation Degree in Business Management. Whilst she now feels at home at the College, she said it was quite daunting starting at an entirely new college after a year out.
“I was terrified about coming to the College at the start, but the staff were incredibly flexible and really supportive with regards to my health,” Jade explained. “From the very beginning I felt like I had a lot of support from my lecturers and fellow students – I actually met my best friend on the very first day.”
Jade said she enjoyed the wide variety of topics covered by the course and being able to put her developing knowledge into practice through a range of practical assignments; but for Jade, the highlight of the course was travelling to Germany for a fully-funded study trip. She said: “The trip to Germany was a particular highlight for me. We were there for two weeks and made some really memorable moments. The work experience will look great on my CV, but it was also really good for building my confidence.”
Jade, whose BTEC results are equivalent to three A grades at A Level, said she considered applying to another university for her degree, but being familiar with the site and staff she decided to stay at City College.
She added: “I know the staff here and I feel comfortable on campus. The lecturers have always been very understanding about my health and they are always willing to help. I also think I will get more one-to-one time with lecturers here rather than a larger university. For me, I feel this is the perfect balance and I will feel fully prepared to complete my degree at a larger university in a couple of years.”
Whilst having enjoyed the finance modules most, Jade decided to study business management as she feels this will give her more options in the future.
Jade said: “I’ve always enjoyed maths, so I guess it makes sense I enjoyed studying finance the most; however, I genuinely found all of the course interesting, which is why I am keeping my options open rather than committing to a career in finance.
“If you are unsure about studying at the College, I recommend coming and speaking to the staff and discussing your options, particularly if you are interested in going on to university, but unsure whether A Levels are for you. By doing a BTEC, I found the workload far more consistent rather than concentrated at certain points of the year. You will also find really helpful and friendly staff who just want to see you do your best.”