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Bethany Chew

Career Path: Bid Writer, Changing Lives
Location: Gateshead, UK

I work for a national charity, based here in the North East, that helps and supports people and their families who are facing social exclusion. These clients can have a wide range of multiple and complex needs, and our services cover accommodation and housing, women's services, addiction and recovery and outreach.

What are you doing now?Bethany Chew

I work in the business development department, writing proposals to other charities, trusts and commissioners in order to secure funding for the projects and services we deliver. I go in to work every day where I am challenged, I get paid to do something that I love; and I get paid to work for an organisation that does the most amazing work.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

It was amazing and I was inspired by many different people throughout the course; tutors, my peers, academics and theorists. The academic staff at Northumbria however were impeccable. The tutors who I felt in particular were the most useful along my journey were Louise Ridley and Jamie Harding.

How connected was your course with industry?

I secured vital work experience from my placement at a Young Offenders Institute; It is because of Northumbria's valuable relationships with practitioners and organisations that makes placements possible as well as immensely valuable.

What was the best thing about your course?

Progression throughout my course was the best thing for me. The course content and the tutors' delivery meant that you were continually developing your skills and knowledge, and progressing from one year to the next to your best ability. At the same time, the course was challenging, and designed in a way to test your analysis and evaluation skills, in order to guarantee you got the very best out of the programme. Essentially, you graduate with the skills set necessary to progress into further study or employment, however what you have gained over those three years is immeasurable.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria for me, was the perfect route into employment. I knew from looking at the course content on the university open day that I would achieve what I wanted to, which was to become more educated in a topic that I enjoyed and develop an understanding of society and social issues. I know that this was something that gave me an edge over other candidates when applying for my job.

Which skills/ knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now in your career?

I use the skills that I learnt through Research Methods modules everyday. This includes proposal writing, data extraction, data and statistical analysis and reading data when I need to research funding opportunities and compile a bid for funding. I use the knowledge of societal issues that I gained from my course, such as crime, poverty, education, criminal justice system, homelessness, substance misuse, institutionalisation, and the welfare state, which feeds in to both my everyday tasks and my funding applications.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I enjoyed the life experience that I gained the most during my time at Northumbria University; whether this was inside or outside of the lecture theatre. The learning experience was fantastic; I looked forward to lectures and seminars, because I went to university to learn, so I wanted to be there. There was always something new to talk about, or stress about, or try your hardest to get your head around. Of course the social aspects of moving away to university were very enjoyable as well. I learnt a lot during those first few months in Newcastle, and I don't think I would have come away with as much had I stayed at home, or even gone to a university nearby. I became independent, and the years throughout my undergraduate degree shaped me into the adult that I am today. I have also made some very valuable and rewarding friendships through my time at Northumbria, and know that these are friendships made for life, because of the amazing shared experiences that we have been through together. I love the city of Newcastle; it has had a lot to offer me through my late teens, early twenties, and for now I am happy to continue living here.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Go for it! Northumbria University is a world-class, with an astounding level of expertise and fantastic teaching staff. The campus is sociable, and the buildings are well designed to fit any purpose, whether study or recreation. I can't imagine having gone to any other university, it really is a brilliant institution. Grasp every opportunity that is given to you, and if things aren't handed to you then get yourself out there and look for them, because good things don't come to those who wait, good things come to those who challenge themselves to achieve what they want, and push boundaries.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Empowering, awesome and innovative.

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