#ECPrizeGiving – Nicola swaps hairdressing for opportunity to work in childcare

Twenty-three-year-old NC Early Childcare Education student Nicola Brown from Edinburgh attended College to take her career in a new direction – swapping hairdressing for a career in childcare. Nicola was the winner of the Childhood Practice Academic Excellence award at the College’s Prize Giving ceremony last month, and we caught up with her to find out about her College journey.

How do you feel about being recognised at Prize Giving?

I am very happy about being recognised at Prize Giving, it was very unexpected but a really good surprise.

What made you choose Edinburgh College for your studies?

I decided to come to Edinburgh College as I have been before and enjoyed my time studying here.

What were you doing before starting at the College?

I work part-time as a hair stylist which  I’ve been doing for the past four years.

What has been the best thing so far about studying at Edinburgh College? Any highlights?

The best thing about College is the people. I have loved meeting so many new people whilst being on this course, and I have made lots of new friends. I also really enjoyed working on placement in local primary schools.

Have you faced any challenges, either before starting or during your studies? How did you overcome them?

A couple months after starting the course I found out I was pregnant and I thought that I would really struggle to complete everything in the course due to taking time off for appointments and working two day as well as being at College. To keep on track, I stuck to a plan and made sure I handed everything in on time and studied regularly. This helped me stay motivated and focused to finish the course before the baby came.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student starting at the College now, what would it be?

Stick to deadlines and make sure you make time to study while at College, you might think you have a lot of time, but the year completely flies by.

What are your plans for the future? Are you going on to further study after College or into employment? What is your end goal?

My plan for the future is to take this year off on maternity leave with my new baby and then return next August to complete my HNC in Childcare. My end goal is to become a Childhood Practitioner and work with children.

Do you have any messages for the lecturers?

I would just like to say thank you to all of them for their help and support through this course. It means a lot to me and without their positivity and encouragement I don’t know how I would have stayed motivated. I am so happy I got the lecturers that I did as everyone was so friendly and professional and I’m thankful for everything they did for all of us.

What are you most proud of that you have achieved while studying at Edinburgh College?

I am most proud of not failing any of my assessments and passing all of the units. I’m proud that I managed to stay on track with all my coursework and never fell behind with things despite with having time off for appointments etc.

Describe your Edinburgh College experience in three words.

Interesting. Fun. Educational.