My own aspiration to teach stems from having brilliant educators at secondary school although my route to teaching hasn’t been a traditional one.
While I always aspired to teach chemistry, having had some amazing educators during my school years who inspired me to pursue a career in science I decided to make the move into teaching after ten years working in industry. I began my own experience in the world of work employed as a research chemist in the petrochemical industry. From there I developed an interest in analytical chemistry and went on to work in the utilities industry as a senior scientist. My career progression moved from a laboratory based role into a statistical analysis role and later into asset management where I worked closely with engineers on various projects.
Working in industry allowed me to work closely with young people on the apprenticeship programme where I recruited and mentored school leavers on the programme. This gave me an insight into what it would be like to support young people with their career aspirations and share my own experiences to help them make more informed choices.
Clearly my route into teaching hasn’t followed the traditional path – and neither did my experiences at university. I studied my degree part time while working, this isn’t a common route however it provides an opportunity to apply new learning in the work place immediately and provided me with a support network of colleagues who had also followed this route. After achieving a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry I continued on to study at a masters level, achieving a post-graduate qualification in forensic and analytical sciences – again part time. I enjoyed this route, while it took a little longer than a traditional degree, it also meant my class sizes were smaller and I could really connect with my tutors and other students on the course.
I am very passionate about my subject and I love the opportunity to talk about it on a daily basis and enthuse a new generation of scientists to pursue their aspirations and achieve their chosen careers.