A former business student at Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s Ystrad Mynach Campus has returned to his old classroom as a teacher as part of his PGCE studies.
Andrew James, 25, from Merthyr Tydfil, was a student on the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business from 2005 to 2007. He now has plans to become a tutor of business in an FE college and went back to his old course to gain some valuable teaching experience.
After college Andrew went onto study Business Management at the University of South Wales and then found employment at a healthcare company in Cardiff. However, two stints in America teaching at Summer camps led Andrew to the decision that he was more suited to the classroom than an office environment.
Andrew was encouraged by his old tutors at Coleg y Cymoedd to return to college to study a PGCE and they even offered him the chance to gain teaching practice on his old course.
Speaking of his experience, Andrew said: â€œI loved the experience of working with young people while I was in the USA and when I got back in touch with my college tutors they couldnâ€™t have been more supportive in helping me to work towards my teaching qualification.
â€œThe business course at Coleg y Cymoedd was a fantastic springboard to university and provided me with some real, practical experience that I used in the workplace, such as a working knowledge of the SAGE accounting and business systems.â€
Since 2012 Andrew has been teaching the human resource units on the BTEC in business at Coleg y Cymoedd.
He continues: â€œWhen I went back to college as one of the tutors I was able to give the students a really honest view of what the course can offer and how they can use it to their advantage in looking for work or university places.
â€œThe tutors are so supportive and I owe them a lot as theyâ€™ve been spurring me on personally for almost 10 years now. I originally chose the course at the Ystrad Mynach campus because it had a good reputation and I am so glad I did, I am always reminding the students how lucky they are to be gaining such valuable practical skills.â€
Sam James, a business tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: â€œAndrew really made the most of the opportunities given to him while he was with us, even being part of the team that won the UK Key Skills Challenge competition in 2007. Iâ€™m delighted to hear he is now considering a career in teaching and the college was only too happy to give him a helping hand during his PGCE studies.
â€œHaving tutors on our courses who can offer real-life business experience is something we place a key focus on as it means our students are far more prepared to hit the ground running when they move onto the next stage of their education or career.â€
Rhondda Cynon Taff