Jackie Andrews - Head of Academic Partnerships

Jackie Andrews - Head of Academic Partnerships

What is your name?

Jackie Andrews

What company do you currently work for?

UHI Moray

What is your job title?

Head of Academic Partnerships

Provide a brief description of your business

UHI Moray is a learning establishment which has something for everyone! We offer education for students at all stages of their journey, be that Further or Higher Education. We have courses from SCQF Level 2 through to SCQF Level 11. Through our partnership with UHI, there are opportunities for everyone in many different fields.

Describe your career pathway after leaving school

After school, I went to Napier College of Commerce and Technology (now Napier University) to study SHND Secretarial Studies with Languages (Spanish and French). I worked in several companies in Edinburgh as a Secretary, finishing my secretarial career in Scottish and Newcastle Breweries. After moving north, I was given an opportunity to join the Secretarial Studies Department in Moray College as a Lecturer. I quickly decided that I really liked this opportunity so settled down to undertake a teaching qualification and then later a Masters qualification through an Open University/UHIMI partnership. Fast forward thirty odd years, having come through the ranks of teaching, I am now Head of Academic Partnerships working closely with the local authority, local community, DYW Moray and local businesses.

Have you ever been an apprentice?

No, I haven't been an apprentice, but I am the proud mother of an apprentice who went into the construction trade at 17 who is now lecturing and of a mature apprentice who has just changed his career path at the age of 30 and is now an Engineering Apprentice. I also work closely with apprentices in college and it is an amazing way to learn whilst you work!

What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?

English is a staple subject for most jobs, or ESOL if English is not your first language. However, also give yourself the chance to try out a wider curriculum. A Foundation Apprenticeship is a great way to gain work experience along with relevant qualifications.

What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?

The thing that I like most about my job is meeting people, working with lots of different people. I also like talking and I like helping people to make choices.

People, young and old, who come to colleges are often unsure of what they want to do next. I believe that colleges help you to make a transition into whatever you want to do next. That's one of my favourite parts of my job.

Why did you want to work in this industry?

Initially I didn't, but once I was given the opportunity, I didn't look back.

Did you ever want to pursue another career?

The beauty of my job is that it changes all the time, one of the reasons I like it so much. However, when I was at college, I did want to work in Spain as a translator.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

I go to lots of meetings, I speak to lots of people and I spend a lot of time at my computer! I also have to read a lot and look a spreadsheets!

What skills are required to do your job?

Patience, empathy and good communication skills. Reading, writing and problem solving are also very important.

What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?

Think carefully about your next steps. There's no wrong path. Lots of people come into teaching like I did, through the love of the job. If you want to be a Hairdresser, follow your dreams, and in time, you could transfer that to lecturing. Most of our staff have had a career before Teaching; Engineers, Construction Workers, Secretaries, Beauty Therapists etc.

Any other comments?

Take your time, don't rush into anything. Try to get as wide an experience as you can whilst still in school. Make positive, informed choices. Take up a school/college partnership course, be brave, and enjoy whatever it is you decide.

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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!

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