From student to staff member: Jessica Walton talks about her journey from Eccles Sixth Form College student, to PGCE student at the University Centre at MediaCityUK, to teacher at the same institution.
Jessica, Humanities Teacher at the University Centre at MediaCityUK, started her academic career in the halls of Eccles Sixth Form College in 2009, before going on to study psychology and criminology at the University of Chester. She said: “I enjoyed psychology when I studied at Eccles and so decided to carry it on when I went to university.”
But three years later she was back in Salford and studying for her PGCE at the University Centre at MediaCityUK.
She said: “I enjoyed my PGCE much more than my three years at university. It’s the smaller class sizes, the fact it’s close to home and well within my comfort zone. When I found out that they offered PGCEs here, I didn’t think twice about applying. I was also able to do my placement here at the college too and that was a massive attraction.”
When studying for her PGCE, Jessica was asked what her plans for the future were after she had completed her course, which she replied: “Ideally, I would like to work here at the University Centre, but in reality, any job in an education capacity would be a great opportunity.”
Well, it seems Jessica managed to make her ideal situation a reality as in September 2017 she was offered a full-time teaching position at the University Centre.
“I always hoped to get a job here when I was doing my PGCE. I got used to going into the staff room and felt really at ease and I knew it would be a good transition into the world of work. I always kept an eye out for any jobs and as soon as one came up I was offered a position and started in September – I was really pleased.”
And when asked why she felt she got the job? “I gave everything to my PGCE and I believe that’s why I was offered the job. I’d have done almost anything to have secured employment here and I felt that showed. I definitely think you get back what you put in.”
Since starting almost 8-months ago Jessica has settled into to teaching in Salford splendidly: “I like that the teachers that taught me psychology at Eccles were here and recognised me. I’ve done various things since I’ve started from teaching A-level psychology to first-year degree psychology, but I enjoy it all.”
The University Centre at MediaCityUK, where Jessica studied and now works, offer a range of Higher Education courses, from Higher National Certificate to Foundation Degrees.