Jeffrey said: “The courses were challenging at first because I was advancing from GCSE level of PE to BTEC level, which needed more thinking and research. Later on, everything started to be clear and I enjoyed everything I learnt.
“My work placement was enjoyable because the staff members made me feel needed as their assistant, which gave me some authority and confidence with the students in PE sessions.
“I decided to do the work placement as I noticed that there are many career pathways in the course that I was studying. The work placement made me narrow down the options that I had as I enjoyed the role of a PE teacher and sports maker. Doing my work placement in the sports centre made me understand and know where I wanted to get to in the future.”
Jeffrey’s hard work was not limited to the college; as well as his work placement, he also pushed himself in his spare time securing jobs outside of college, to help earn a bit more money.
“Whilst studying my Level 3 I also got jobs as a cleaner, a carer and in Sainsbury’s.”
Upon completing his Level 3 course at CONEL, Jeffrey went on to study Sports Science at the University of East London in September 2015. Jeffrey said, “It was a great feeling when I knew I had passed everything I needed to for me to go to university as it proved to me that I had a lot to offer.
“I had teachers who would help me and push me to get higher grades. It was tough but I look at it now and thank the teachers I had at CONEL, especially Fabian Darku who dedicated his time to me and advised me on the courses I can choose to do, and the universities that could bring out the best in me. The college also held workshops for us to write our UCAS personal statements and checked them before we sent them off.”
In his third year of university, and after four years of work placement with us, Jeffrey successfully applied for a Sports Attendant role at CONEL. This included responsibilities such as sales, marketing and taking good care of the facilities at the CONEL sports centre. When asked how this made him feel, Jeffrey said, “I had my foot in the door when I was doing my work placement at CONEL but when I got this job I was overwhelmed.”
After completing his degree, Jeffrey pursued a Masters degree in Sports Management while still working as a Sports Attendant at CONEL. When asked how he found this Jeffrey said: “It was not too challenging juggling the job and Masters degree together, as the times that I worked allowed me to attend lectures and have time for independent learning.
“The Masters was a lot harder than the Bachelor’s degree as I needed to put in more work to get the grades that I needed. In addition, it was the first time learning anything related to business.”
Jeffrey completed his Masters in September 2019 and progressed into a full-time role at CONEL as our Work Placement Officer. Settling into his role Jeffrey said: “This new job is great! I believe I will have a big impact on the lives of the students because I will be the point of contact when they need any advice for the career they will like to go into.”