Rimante joined Weston College as a 16-year-old to study a Level 3 course. Since then, she’s progressed through University College Weston, gained employment at the College and now works in the HR department. Here she talks about her journey and offers advice to potential students.
After attending a taster day, I knew the College and the Travel and Tourism BTEC Extended Diploma was for me. The course gave me an insight into the different sectors of the industry, which helped me decide what I wanted to focus in the future. The lecturers also came from different industry backgrounds and related the subject back to real experiences, which made it very interesting to study.
The residential trips were also amazing. I went to Gambia twice and got to understand how tourism works over there and what impact the big travel organisations have on the country’s economy. The trips also helped us relate our studies to ‘real life’.
We had several guest lecturers – from various backgrounds like Bristol Airport – and visited the Virgin Atlantic customer experience day where we got an insight about their branding and how they deliver customer experience.
Aside from subject-specific skills and knowledge, the course gave me skills I can apply in virtually any job role, such as researching, report and presentation writing and budgeting. Those are the skills that all employers out there are looking for and it makes you stand out from other applications.
If anyone’s thinking about studying the course, I’d say ‘go for it’, because it opens so many career paths. Even if you end up working in a different industry – like myself – the knowledge you gain is transferable and it doesn’t limit you in the future.
After this course I progressed to the foundation degree in Tourism Management at University Centre Weston. This was the logical choice as I’d enjoyed the Level 3 course so much and knew how great the facilities and lecturers at Weston College were.
The class sizes were also smaller than other places, which meant I got more support when I needed it. Plus, the course was only two days per week, so I could continue working and gaining industry experience while studying.
After the foundation degree I moved on to the Business Management with Sustainability BA (Hons) top up. It was also while I was studying my degree that I started working at the College as a part-time Trainee Clerical Assistant.
After I graduated I also had the opportunity to volunteer with Nicaraguan project workers in Quisuli Arriba in the north of the country to hold educational workshops about the importance of clean water and effective sanitation processes. Read more
I then joined the HR team at the college, whilst studying for the Human Resources Practice CIPD Certificate, this was an evening course once a week for a year. This course gave me a solid introduction into HR and helped me develop the skills that are required for a HR role.
I then went on to complete the level 5 Human Resource Management CIPD Certificate, which was also one evening a week for a year. This course helped to further developed my professional practice, looked at business issues in the context of HR, employment law, resourcing/talent planning and reward management.
If you are looking to start your HR career or wish to get the qualification to support your position/further develop your career. I would recommend these courses, they help you to link the theory with real practice and are certified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
It’s been a really enjoyable and rewarding journey, and I can’t recommend the College highly enough.
If you’re thinking about following a similar path, I’d advise attending the open days that are held throughout the year. Here, you can speak to the many lecturers and careers advisors, and ask any questions about the potential study routes and career paths.