Birmingham student with aptitude for teaching choses specialism that allows her to continue changing lives

Parese Ahmed, a final-year BSc Health and Social Care student at UWTSD’s Birmingham campus, had a background in the charity sector before attending university.

While working for the Teenage Cancer Trust, Parese visited schools and colleges to inform young adults of the science behind cancer, signs and symptoms of teenage cancer, healthy lifestyle choices and to promote the charity’s work.

After a while, Parese took a step back from this full-time role when she became a mother, which made her “focus on what I would like my long-term career to be,” she explains. “Going back to education was the right move for me. I knew I wanted to specialise in something important to me.

“I thought back to a heart-touching moment that occurred after doing a presentation at a school. The teacher emailed me following the session to say that a student had gone to see his GP following the information in my presentation and was diagnosed with early-stage cancer.

“It made me realise that I want to make a difference, I need my work to have purpose.”

From that moment, Parese found the career direction she was looking for, and has now set her sights on becoming a Health and Social Care lecturer in a Higher Education environment. “I love the classroom buzz and I am really passionate about the topic,” she says. “I want to inspire people in this community to have the drive and ambition to succeed in the Health and Social Care sector.”

She plans to complete a Master's in Health Policy with UWTSD then a teaching qualification to get her career journey underway: “I want to educate people on how to help the most vulnerable people within society, and open their eyes to the theory, policy and legislation that governs health and social care practice in the UK.”

A particular favourite module for Parese was 'The Older Person: Living in Care', which she says has “opened my eyes to the challenges that carers face and inspired me to take up weekend work as a healthcare assistant – so that when I start teaching, my content will be enhanced through first-hand experience on the frontline.”

To others who share the same interest, she urges: “If you want to make a real difference in the community then this course is for you! The modules cover a range of topics from children and family social work, mental health and psychopathology as well as workplace skills and character development, so that when you finish your degree you know who you are and where you're going.”

“The course has helped me recognise my strengths and provided me with the confidence I needed to return to the workplace after maternity leave. Raising children can really take its toll on you, but I found that studying with UWTSD has given me an additional purpose: it’s provided the opportunity to push myself professionally and make career choices that allow me to make a difference in our community.”