The need to help others is one that mature student, Alan Stukins, was incredibly keen to pursue.
Although Alan had been self-employed for many years, he decided to switch priorities from chasing profits to learning how to help people in their time of need.
With the hope of becoming a paramedic, Alan chose to study the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health Science Professions.
Finding the right path
Alan has worked in various roles over the past years, but struggled to feel fulfilled by the work he was doing.
“In my previous roles, I felt I was not reaching my full potential. I have been self-employed for a few years, however I felt I had lost part of who I was in constantly chasing profits and struggling to pay the bills.
“I had always dreamed of becoming a paramedic, knowing that I could make a positive impact on people’s lives and feeling like I’ve made a difference.
“Returning to education after many years has given me time to reflect. When I was younger, I lacked direction and motivation. However, now at 39 years old, I feel ready to completely change course and pursue a career that I’m excited about.”
Never too late to learn
When Alan was younger, he felt unable to attend university due to his lack of formal qualifications.
“Although it’s a daunting step to take, I thought that rather than being 45 and still feeling held back and unhappy with my job, I should go back to education so I can follow the career path I really want.
“I have really enjoyed meeting my classmates at Harrogate College. It’s great to see a range of students from different backgrounds and ages, who are all really supportive and friendly. It’s been fascinating to get back into practical science work; each session is so engaging and the study and research skills I’ve learnt are invaluable.
“The Access course provides a great introduction to things like Harvard referencing, self-directed study and planning scientific assignments. It will prepare me very well for the transition to university, so that I can go on to succeed in the profession.”
Continuing the academic journey
After completing his Access course, Alan hopes to study at university and then work within the ambulance service.
“Once I’ve completed university, I hope to be an ambulance service paramedic for a few years. After that, I’m open to moving around within that field or returning to university to research and teach.
“Coming back to college has made me so excited to learn; I can now focus on what I’m passionate about, rather than worrying about income from being self-employed.
“My biggest achievement has been my ability to commit enough time to studying to get good grades while battling a reduced income from my business due to the pandemic.”
Find out more about the Access to Higher Education Health Science Professions course here.