From education to employment

Considering a career change?

For anyone considering a career change 34-year-old Fiona Parker is a real inspiration. After working in the fast food industry for sixteen years, Fiona who is from Newcastle, decided to follow her dream of becoming a beauty therapist.

The mother of three decided to enrol after visiting the colleges open day with her daughter who had just completed her GCSE’s, but after speaking with the tutors, decided to enrol onto a part-time course herself.

With a job for life increasingly rare, reinvention is Fiona’s middle name. Fiona said she was ‘apprehensive about coming to college’ and that she was ‘worried about being the eldest in the class.’

Fiona explains: “I had to leave education after completing my GCSE’s as I was a mother of two children. However, when they started primary school I returned to SERC to do an Access to Education course which lead me to study accountancy at Queens University Belfast. In my second year I became a single parent with three young children so I had to return to full-time employment. So when I visited SERC with my daughter I decided now was the right time for me to follow my dream.

“I was absolutely petrified returning to education but haven’t looked back. Everyone is in the same boat. It is important to remember everyone is faced with the same obstacles and worries but it is simply about getting over the first hurdle! There are lots of mature learners at the College so you won’t be alone.

“SERC offers so many courses accompanied by the support and flexibility to help you achieve your full potential. There really are opportunities for everyone. The tutors go above and beyond to ensure you are getting the best out of your course and I aspire to do exactly the same. I would encourage anyone who was considering a career change to just go for it. Once you take the initial step the rest falls into place, you will never regret trying.”

On completion of the course Fiona hope to progress to the HND in hair and beauty management.

SERC provides a range of part-time courses designed to give students ‘the edge’. To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0345 600 7555, visit or find us on Facebook, search: SERC.

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