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Abi Parker

Career Path: Assistant manager, KEYFORT Group LTD .
Location: Newcastle Upon-Tyne, UK

When I graduated university I worked in a residential care home supporting young adults with learning difficulties and behaviours of concern. After this I moved to working in a nursery and become a room lead and SENCO. 

What are you doing now?: Abi Parker

I help oversee the Academic, Community and Employment Department at KEYFORT. I oversee the day-to-day queries, ensuring quality within the service as well providing support and guidance and being a point of contact for students, people we support, staff and commissioners. KEYFORT provide education services to remove barriers to learning in both Higher and Further Education whilst providing independence and autonomy. As well as supporting individuals at work to maintain independence and address barriers to work; tailoring support to meet your specific needs in your job role. I work with employers in the understanding of a specific condition or impairment, this can support you through your employment and transition We also support people out in the community, going out and completing social activities. I chose this career as my passion is with inclusive practice, this is something I can work on in my role making sure individuals have the support they need to be able to achieve to their best potential. To achieve this path all I needed was a degree but my background in supporting individuals with learning disabilities and becoming a nursery SENCO has massively helped.

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

Northumbria had a great reputation, I am originally from Hertfordshire so it was nice to move away from home but have the security of a uni with a good reputation.

What was it like studying at Northumbria? (eg. were there a mix of lectures, seminars, team projects? Was the feedback constructive?):

I had a mixture of lectures, seminars and team projects. Had opportunities to pick modules that I was interested in and to also have smaller seminars which was great as it meant I had support of the other students and the opportunity to talk to the lectures.

How connected was your course with industry? (eg. did you have a placement, work on projects? were there interesting guest lectures?):

I had a work placement in a nursery which was great.

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

It gave me good experience in the industry whilst thinking about where I wanted to go career wise.

What was the best thing about your course?:

I really enjoyed it was a good mix of in person as well as self directed study.

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

The opportunity to pick modules based on my career aspirations e.g. inclusive practice and opportunities to go on placement.

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

Loads of theory to be implemented into practice such as the importance of play in the early years and the understanding of child development was a huge help in my role as a SENCO.

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

I loved being at coach lane campus - it was a lovely atmosphere and great facilities.

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

Get stuck in - attend as many events you can to make new friends and explore new hobbies.

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

Fun, challenging, productive.



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