Meet Rianne. Rianne moved to the UK from the Netherlands and chose postgraduate study at Herts to help her gain employment.
|Current job role
|Customer Experience Executive at a vegan food company
|Year of graduation
|Course of study
|MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Looking for a new challenge
Rianne moved to the UK from the Netherlands in 2018. Despite having a postgraduate qualification, she found it difficult to get a job in the UK. She says, ‘The postgraduate course I completed in the Netherlands was a mixture of education sciences and child psychology, and a comparable course did not exist in the UK. I think employers found it difficult to understand.
‘I got a job working as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant for a year or so and even though I enjoyed it, it was a massive change in salary compared to my previous job and I wanted more of a challenge.’
Rianne decided to do another postgraduate course in the UK and chose to enrol at Herts. She was able to commute from her home in Stevenage and Herts offered the course she wanted to do, MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She says, ‘I attended an open evening and spoke with the Programme Leader of the course. They took the time to answer all my questions and made me feel at home.’
Gaining practical experience
Rianne chose TESOL as she had always been interested in other languages and cultures, and she liked that the course included opportunities to learn about teaching practices. She says, ‘The course didn’t just focus on theory. I had the opportunity to gain practical experience by getting the chance to teach small groups, which was a great addition to my CV. I was also in a small class cohort, which meant I got to know my lecturers well. Nothing was ever too much for them, and they made me feel comfortable even when things became stressful.’
Using those transferable skills
Not long after she finished her course, Rianne was contacted by a vegan food company, and she is now working for them as a Customer Experience Executive. She says, ‘I am part of their learning and development team, where I focus on training and improving the quality of service we provide. Training and quality have a lot of overlap with teaching, and the skills I learnt on my course come in handy.’
Her main advice for current and future Herts students is to enjoy their time here, but always be prepared. She says, ‘Doing a postgraduate course isn’t easy, there is a lot of work to get done. Make sure you plan your coursework and manage your time well, and there are various resources at Herts to help you with this.’