Studied: Level 3 Business and Management, HNC and HND Hospitality Management
Progression: Business management degree and Trainee business studies teacher
Should any of Amber-May Beards’s future students tell her they aren’t sure about the study or career path they want to follow, then she will assure them that it’s okay to feel this way.
“I’ll advise them that there is more than one progress,” said Amber. “Also, that whatever path they choose can still make them as successful as the people around them.”
Amber’s own student success is leading her into teacher training at a secondary school.
This comes after she completed a four-year learning journey with Walsall College. It involved Amber taking her time thinking about different higher level study options and future careers to progress into.
“Year 11 had been a confusing time for me as I didn’t know what kind of career I wanted,” said Amber. “I was worried about making the wrong decision and having to live with it long-term. I had enjoyed business studies at GCSE. So while the A Level didn’t feel right for me, the diploma course did.”
Even after settling into her course, Amber was undecided about university and a preferred carer.
“People around me already knew they’d be going to university while I wasn’t sure if this was for me,” said Amber. “I carried a lot of self-doubt. It made it difficult for me to believe I could achieve the same way others were.
“So even after staying in college and becoming a higher education student, I didn’t know straightway if I’d complete a full honours degree, or do something different.
“Ultimately, with help from the Walsall College team, I discovered what I was most passionate about and wanted to pursue professionally.”
Amber completed a full honours degree at Staffordshire University. She will now study a PGCE and work towards achieving newly-qualified teacher (NQT) status through her role in a secondary school.
“I wouldn’t change my study route for anything,” said Amber. “College has so much to offer. Everything from supportive, inspiring teachers to a chance to make new friends and go on trips. And I found it easier to absorb knowledge on my business diploma.”
“Staying in college for higher education was brilliant too,” she continued. “It meant I could achieve the HNC and then stop if I wanted to. Or carry on for one more year, achieving another qualification. Whereas if you start a full degree and then stop after a year, you come away with nothing.”
Amber’s teaching career means she will continue her interest in business and finance, while being a mentor and positive example to others.