With the right approach and financial support behind you, you can go to university and study in a way that fits around your other commitments. I’m so pleased I made the jump forward in my career and soon I will have a degree behind me that will open doors to working in the environmental sector.
After working in a series of administrative roles which she found weren’t challenging her and with no opportunities to progress, Kirsty had a lightbulb moment when she discovered the perfect degree in an area she’s passionate about.
Kirsty studied full-time for 2 years but after her eco cleaning business took off, she decided to switch to part-time for her final year so that she could dedicate time to running her business.
Kirsty juggles her studies around not just her business but part-time ecological conservation work for a consultancy firm and has a working dog.
“When I finish my degree, I plan to get a job working in conservation to help wildlife which has been an ambition of mine for many years. I want to contribute to science and make a difference in helping to save the planet. I’m so glad I’m finally on the right path now by studying for a degree.
“Money was definitely a big consideration in my decision to apply to university, especially as I had only worked in relatively low-paid jobs. I’m from a low-income background with no family financial help, so without the support from Student Finance Wales, it wouldn’t have been possible to do my degree.”
When Kirsty studied full-time for the first 2 years of her course, she received £4,000 each year in grants to support her living costs that she will not have to pay back. Since studying part-time, she receives £3,000 in grant for her living costs.
Kirsty hasn’t found it difficult to manage her money while studying and is grateful for the support available. She continues:
“I knew I’d be living on a tighter budget as a student, but I can pay for everything I need and cover my living costs and I don’t struggle financially. I’m now considering a Master’s but I haven’t quite decided. I know there is financial support available to me if I go down that route.
“I’m so pleased I made the jump forward in my career and soon I will have a degree behind me that will open doors to working in the environmental sector. Because of my commitments around the course, I have to be really structured with my studying, but it is possible. In my last assignment I got 91% which was a fantastic achievement for me - I think it shows that with the right approach, you can balance commitments.”