Applied Social Science, 2008
We interviewed Jodie in November 2010
What were you doing before you began your studies here?
I was working at a homeless hostel and had just completed the first year of the community development foundation degree at the university. My aim was to then transfer to a full degree (as I did!)
How did you come to apply?
It was actually a discussion over the telephone with Marylynn Fyvie-Gauld, the course leader. She poached me a year early so I transferred earlier than I thought I would.
What course did you do?
I did Applied Social Science.
What are you doing now in your career, and what are your next steps (if you feel able to say at this stage)?
I have just completed (and passed) a Masters in Community Psychology at Falmer. I have been working at Hastings Trust since I graduated from Applied Social Science, initially part time and now full time – split over 2 projects that we are involved in.
Can you describe how your ambitions altered as a result of studying at here?
My reasons for going to uni in the first place was to prove that I could do it. I did not have any career ambition nor did I know what direction I wanted my life to take. Studying at the University of Brighton in Hastings highlighted my passion for working locally with local people; empowering them to improve their lives and do something they feel they may not have been able to do – for instance, I was a single mum and I always strived to break the attached stereotype that goes with that. Ultimately I want to show others if I can better myself they too can do it with the right support.
Do you feel that you approach your career differently as a result of studying here?
Yes, pretty much as I said above. Some of my tutors were keen to encourage me to challenge myself and consider future prospects. They supported and offered me very specific advice and guidance, which I feel is very different from what you get at a bigger campus, for example at the Falmer site. It is definitely a much more personalised approach which impacts on your own individual development and approach.
Can you explain what makes this campus distinctive?
It's more personal, more appealing than large scale sites which can seem very isolated (especially to more mature students). Also it is situated in an area where I feel a lot of people may not have decided to go to uni as they didn’t want to leave or travel away.
Were there any staff who particularly inspired you, and why?
Marylynn – she was very supportive and would always try to help, advise and accommodate where she could. In my third year, Mike Hall really pushed me to consider my future career options and where I could go. He played a part in my decision to undertake the Masters.
Do you feel that gaining a degree from the University of Brighton in Hastings changed your life, and why?
Like I said previously, I did my degree to prove to myself more than anyone that I could do it, but I also did it to prove that I am not restrained in my life choices because I am single parent. In fact, being a single parent gives me more drive and passion to do things. The university was a structure that enabled me to do this. The staff were all non-judgemental and supportive – from the cafe staff, to the admin staff, through to the lecturers, and even Margaret - all of them knew your name and took time out to say hello and ask how things were going. This approach and delivery boosted myself and other students and enabled us to progress.
What other commitments did you have other than your course?
I have twin girls who are 12 (now) and I was working part time – 30 hours a week.
Is there anything you wish you’d done, or that you’d do differently, while at Brighton?
I was lucky enough to form good friendships whilst at uni and hope others can, so no I don’t think I would have done anything differently.
What is your relationship to Hastings or the local area?
I am born and bred in Hastings!
What were you doing before you came to UCH?
I was working at a homeless hostel and had just completed the first year of the community development foundation degree at UCH – my aim was to then transfer to a full degree (as I did!)