1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Eleanor but please shorten it to El – my mum calls me Eleanor when I’ve done something wrong!
I’m 23 years old and graduated from Anglia Ruskin in Education and Childhood Studies in 2017. I’m the ‘loudest and most dramatic’ middle child of three girls according to my family (my poor Dad, even the cat is female). In my spare time I love love love playing netball. I played for the ARU netball team and you’ll often hear me talking about netball, too. I just love netball. I’ve played since primary school and it continues to be one of my favourite hobbies. I also really enjoy cycling around the city in my spare time and I’m a big enthusiast for baking! I started my own cake business in 2014, making celebration/wedding cakes for customers.
2. What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
Meeting so many amazing and wonderful people at ARU. I have unique and happy memories with all of them.
3. What has been your favourite job?
When I was younger I used to work in a pub and get a free roast dinner every week, so that was a major job perk because I love roast dinners!
In all seriousness, I would have to say my favourite job is my current role as Student Ambassador Coordinator for the Schools and Colleges Engagement Team at ARU. I started as a temp and now I’m a permanent member of staff which still continues to be a really proud achievement for me. I recruit and train student ambassadors to assist at the teams events, which will hopefully encourage potential students to study at ARU. My confidence has developed and the team I work with are great. It’s really nice to look forward to going to work.
4. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?
5. How did your time at ARU help you?
This could sound cheesy but my time at ARU helped me believe in myself. I didn’t think I was good enough or clever enough to attend university but I look back on my time here and feel really proud of what I achieved.
6. What did you love about your chosen course?
I loved my course because it covered all aspects of Education studies from Primary, to Higher Ed, SEND and it allowed me to conduct my own research. We had some very supportive staff and my cohort were a really great bunch of people. I really enjoyed writing my dissertation in my third year because I could write about whatever topic I was interested in. I chose to write about being the middle child in a family because I believe middle children have secret powers and they need to be celebrated. I’d love to continue this research one day.
7. What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
First of all, breathe. Make sure you celebrate the amazing achievement of gaining your degree and be proud of yourself. Often, graduates (including myself) panic and think they need to have a job as soon as they finish university. But it’s okay to not have a plan and to take some time to think about what you want to do next. It took me a while to realise that I didn’t have to leave university with a plan and I should plan the next few weeks instead of the next few years. I would also say don’t feel disappointed if you don’t start where you want to, you’ve got your whole career to have the ‘perfect job’. Have fun, meet new people and see where it takes you.
8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?
Dissertations take a very long time to write. And that it's always okay to ask for help.
9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My mum is a teacher and my dad used to be one, which is where my interest in education came from initially. But in my current role, a member of the team has been extremely supportive and has shown a belief in me and my abilities (they might read this and disagree, but they shouldn’t).
10. What advice would you give your younger self?
I’m only 23 so I would say I’m still quite young, but if I could speak to my 18-year-old self I would tell her to take it slow, don’t be so hard on yourself, stop worrying about the little things, be excited for the future and no matter how many times you try it, you won’t like coffee!11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I used to be an Irish dancer; you can call me Michael Flatley.
12. What’s next?
Carry on working for ARU and who knows? I’m very content in life right now so I don’t feel like I need to plan ahead. One day, I would love to go back to ARU and study an MA or an MPhil. Oh, and play a game of netball here and there…