After leaving school at 14 without any qualifications, business student Rebecca Walker never thought she’d go to university – but just six years later, after a lot or hard work and commitment to learning, she’s on her way to Birmingham City University to do a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance.
Rebecca, aged 20, said: “I came to college when I was 16 to do a Pathways course, then progressed to the Get Ahead Programme, followed by a Traineeship. As part of the Traineeship I did work experience at Dino Building Ltd and, as a result, the company offered me a business admin apprenticeship which enabled me to work for them alongside studying for my Level 2 business qualification.
“After achieving my Level 2 qualification the company offered me a Level 3 apprenticeship and I completed the Level 3 diploma in business, followed by the Level 3 extended diploma this year – and in September I’m going to university, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet!”
Rebecca added: “Throughout my time at college the tutors have been extremely helpful and kept me on track with my assignments and my confidence has improved considerably. Before coming to college I’d never have been able to speak in front of people but I recently did a presentation to a large group of students about the benefits of doing the extended diploma. This helps at work too as I’m more confident when speaking to customers in person or on the phone – and what’s more, my employer recognises how much I’ve developed and says he’s proud of me!
“When I left school with nothing I felt different to other people, but now I feel on par with everyone else. Just because you don’t have any qualifications doesn’t mean that you can’t get any – it takes time but it’s worth it in the end.”