Verah Achieng – Foundation Degree in Business and Enterprise
When Verah Achieng moved from Germany to the UK in 2014, she had set her mind on improving her career prospects. Fast forward two years, and she is on track to get a qualification that could change her life.
Verah was working at Oxfordshire County Council as specialist customer service adviser for the Social Work team. She was keen to develop a career in charity management when a colleague, who was studying at City of Oxford College, part of Activate Learning, recommended the college to her. ‘The city centre campus is just around the corner from my workplace and it is really convenient. I just popped over one day at lunchbreak. The receptionist was friendly and introduced me to staff in the business department, so I could talk to them about the courses that I was interested in and how they fitted with my plans.’
Verah chose to enrol on to the Foundation Degree in Business and Enterprise, because it would help her gain a qualification to further her career in her chosen field, whilst fitting around her current job commitments: ‘I want to be a manager in a charitable organisation. The Foundation Degree in Business and Enterprise helped me gain an understanding of how businesses are formed and run, expanding my knowledge of leadership styles and of the context beyond the operational figures. This programme equipped me really well for my future career, especially in terms of leadership skills, creativity skills and skills auditing, learning to identifying your own skills, and how best to put all these in use. And because it’s a higher education programme, I also benefitted from a range of facilities available at Oxford Brookes University, such as the library.’
Vera is set to get her qualification in 2017 and has exciting plans to develop her future career in the field of international non-profit management: ‘I want to work for an organisation such as Oxfam, managing the delivery of aid programmes in the field. Further down the line, I want to run my own business.’
‘Studying at City of Oxford College has given me more experience and knowledge to help turn my dreams into a reality. I would say to anyone thinking about studying for a qualification to go for it, as long as they can make it fit with their commitments. It is a great opportunity to build yourself and invest in your future.’