I have been teaching and mentoring science since 2007; although it started off as a favour for a neighbour, the fulfilment and satisfaction I achieved from working with my first student was enough to fuel my career change, and I become a private science tutor. I studied for my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Materials Science at the University of Birmingham, where I gained a background in both material and biological sciences. Having this multidisciplinary background allows me to possess excellent laboratory and research skills in a broad scientific field. Following graduation in 2006, I began studying for my PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, where I continued my studies in the development of material science for medical research. I used this time to publish much of my research and gained experience of working with international collaborations. I have been a STEM ambassador between 2008-2011; voluntarily working with schools to help develop the interest of young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
I have also worked with a voluntary group called Residence in Research, for whom I visited schools and met with children to enlighten them about the benefits of higher education; having mentored them to encourage and motivate interest in school, and giving me the opportunity to talk to young people about working towards higher education and the benefits of achieving better at a secondary education. Working in research at the time it was to help develop research skills of young people in secondary education to make them more aware of the possibilities within science and engineering. Educating them about the types of career options open to them and the types of experience and qualifications they need to achieve such ambitions. In 2016, I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in learning and teaching at the University of Leicester.
This Specialist in Learning Difficulties (SpLD) course is specifically developed to support my students by primarily working on mentoring students with dyslexia and learning difficulties, and also coaching students with study skills support. The course delivered specific learning aids to facilitate students to ensure students in Higher Education have the support they require to meet their goals. In 2018, I completed five core modules with The National Autistic Society (NAS), to develop my understanding of a wider range of student difficulties. I am now a qualified SpLD – Autism Spectrum (AS) tutor or specialist mentor (AS) also.