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Emma Mawson-Johnson

Career Path: Teacher Training Programme, Schools Direct
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

When I first left school, I decided to do a Beauty Therapy course at college, which led me to work in a spa on a cruise ship. Although this was amazing experience, I started to think about what other jobs I was interested in and that was always working with children. I went back to college to complete a Higher Education access course (HEFC) to apply for university. After completing my degree I decided to apply for teaching opportunities to apply my skills and have a positive influence on children and their future.

What are you doing now?Emma Mawson-Johnson

I am currently completing a teacher training programme with Schools Direct.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

Northumbria is a local, very welcoming and had amazing reviews on courses and outcomes.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

There was a great balance of lectures, seminars and opportunities for teamwork including participating as a group in a mentoring project for first years. All tutors provided excellent constructive feedback and allowed time for discussing anything afterwards.

How connected was your course with industry?

My course had a spine module known as 'Preparing For the Future' which brought all part routes together. This module also brought past students in who had careers and were working for certain companies in relation to the degree which provided us with some great connections. As an option module in second year, I chose 'Exploring Professional Practice' which enabled me to have experience in a placement relating to my course.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

My placement was in a therapeutic children's home, this gained me excellent experience in applying both part routes into practice by supporting children with social and emotional issues and participating in multi-agency meetings with many professionals such as support workers, social workers, an ADHD nurse and psychologist. I also had the opportunity to provide career guidance to a year eight class in a local secondary school.

What was the best thing about your course?

The support from tutors - they were always only an email away and wouldn't hesitate to answer any queries no matter how silly the question may have seemed. On tutor's favourite quote was "No question is a silly question".

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

All the support aroundme including my peers and the encouragement tutors had in making us work in teams and supporting each other. The tutors empowered you and filled you with confidence to push you further than you thought you could ever achieve.

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

The ability to write academically and reflect on practice. I also definitely use the core conditions from the Guidance and Counselling module including, empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence (a compatible rapport). In addition to learning skills from the Childhood Studies module to empower and treat children as individuals and to support and acknowledge their views as well as being able to understand policies and the influence this has on individuals.

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

The interesting degree, the support from peers and tutors and the opportunities provided.

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

Use the contacts and opportunities that the tutors provide as all experience is good experience. Make sure you use your peers and tutors as support. Feed ideas to each other and proof read each other's work.

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

Amazing, empowering and valuable.

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