Edinburgh College helps high-flyer Sam change career paths

Photo of Samantha smiling at the camera.

After being stranded in Turkey during lockdown, twenty-two-year-old Samantha McNeil from West Calder moved back to Scotland with the aim of changing career paths and is now studying part-time at Edinburgh College to gain the knowledge and skills to help her pursue a career in childcare.  

We spoke to the HNC Childhood Practice student to find out more about her college experience, and how she has found studying online at home.

Before coming to college, I moved to Turkey to start a new career as a resort representative after working as an air hostess prior to that. Unfortunately, due to Coronavirus, my job was no longer available, and I moved back to Scotland to be with my family after being stuck in lockdown in Turkey for four months.

I studied at Edinburgh College a few years ago, however, didn’t finish the course I was doing at the time. I enjoyed the college as there are usually so many activities run by students for students and the staff and students are very helpful and motivating. The college itself has a very positive atmosphere which makes you want to achieve the best results possible.

My experience has been different to the usual college experience. I do my lessons online at the moment. I’ve quite enjoyed learning this way though as I like being home with my creature comforts.

I decided to do an HNC in Childhood Practice because during lockdown I came across stories of children who were struggling due to not being able to see their friends, or parents who were not working and struggling to feed their children. It really got me intrigued in childcare and wanting to help people who were in those situations. 

I currently work in a lovely nursery in Edinburgh and on my day off, I go to college so for me personally, I forget that life is so different now. I feel I’ve adapted well to learning online, but it would be nice to hopefully go to college and meet some of my fellow students and be able to chat in person about our work. 

I feel that learning online is a bit more flexible as you can catch up on the lessons later on in Moodle. You also get to sit in your PJs and not have to embrace the cold weather!

For online learning, I have been using so many different platforms – Microsoft Office, Moodle, Teams and Learning Assistant. It can be hard to remember the exact location of some documents and remembering every function in each platform however, the lecturers are very patient and show you how to access things if you can’t remember. There are also tutorial videos on the college platforms which are very useful.

My college experience has been entertaining, factual and positive.

If you want to change your career like Samantha, we offer a range of courses for retraining and upskilling. View our courses to get started.

Photo of Samantha smiling at the camera, text on the image reads "Ready to start your application? View our courses".