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Rachel Higgin

I only began studying Sociology at university I had not studied it beforehand. I loved the course and enjoyed the experience of going to South India in my second year and working for a development organisation. This was a fantastic opportunity for me.

What are you doing now?

I am teaching RE and Sociology at a school in Sunderland

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

It gave me the confidence and guidance I needed to understand more about the global society in which we live and to become apart of it.

What was the best thing about your course?

India in the second year working for CEDAR development organisation.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

Darryl Humble as he was one of the lecturers that took me there and was always going the extra mile to help everybody. 

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

I use the skills that I learnt through Research Methods modules everyday; through 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, 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 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 (some more than others), 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, but that didn't matter because you got a sense of what you had let yourself in for come the end of the first semester, so if you were still there any time after that then that was by choice.  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 so 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 university, 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 3 words?

Empowering, awesome, innovative.

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