Katy Phillips (Academic Mentor)
Attended St Brendan's 2009 - 2011
Subjects studied: Sociology, Psychology, English Language, Government & Politics
Previous School: St Gregory's Catholic College
After St Brendan’s I went to the University of Northumbria in Newcastle to study BSc (Hons) Social Work. I chose a university as far away from home as possible, without leaving the country! Studying Sociology at St Brendan’s was really beneficial for me, as part of my course included a sociology module which I consequently found much easier. I found the overall university experience really great for making new friends and gaining independence.
After university, I worked for a charity in Bath called the Carers’ Centre where I worked with young adult carers aged 17 – 25 to help them to stay in education/employment alongside their caring role. This is the exact field I had hoped to be in - the charity sector is such a pleasure to work in and I love how rewarding the job was. I also undertook some ‘Managing Practice Learning’ training at the University of Bath as part of my role and as of September I will be the Practice Educator and Practice Supervisor for a social work student from the university.
St Brendan’s really supported me to get to where I am today. I had always wanted to study Social Work at university but studying English Language at A-level made me love it so much that I really considered studying it at university. I was supported by my amazing tutor to decide which course was right for me and was then given so much support with making sure my Personal Statement was just right. I got offered interviews and entrance exams at each of the universities I applied to and travel for this proved quite costly. St Brendan’s therefore gave me a grant to pay for my travel to Newcastle for my interview, which I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do without their financial support.
I am now an Academic Mentor at St Brendan's!
Advice I would give to current students would be to just really make the most of their time there. I can honestly say that despite some of the stress of A-levels, the years I spent studying at St Brendan’s were some of the best years of my life, and they go by so quickly. Some of my closest friends today are friends I met at St Brendan’s. I would also advise current students to really accept any support on offer to them so that they are able to reach their full potential.
In 10 years’ time I hope to have completed a CELTA course so that I am able to embrace my love of English by teaching it to foreign speakers, particularly asylum seekers and refugees. I would like to do this alongside continuing to work in my current field as I am still passionate about supporting young carers.