Sarah grew up in Weymss Bay, but in her early twenties moved to Guernsey and later the Isle of Man. In December 2014, Sarah returned to Scotland, and is now living just down the road from her hometown, in Skelmorlie, North Ayrshire, with her young son.

Sarah soon found work as a secretary at a local GP surgery, but was keen to look for other opportunities. With the support of family, her employers, and West College Scotland, she’s now building an exciting new career.

“I soon found work as a secretary at a local GP surgery, but being closer to my family and having their support I felt I had an opportunity to gain some qualifications - something I always regretted not doing when I was younger. My employers at the surgery were very accommodating and let me arrange my hours around college, so I was really in a perfect position to go for it!”

Having worked for a number of years in administrative roles in the healthcare sector, Sarah was keen to pursue a career in this area.

“I have always had an interest in science, especially in relation to healthcare, where I have worked for a number of years in administrative roles.  Microbiology and immunology were what interested me most so the HNC in Applied Science at WCS really appealed.”

With such a long break from education, Sarah worried she would struggle, however her fears were unfounded.

“The course began in August 2015.  I was worried about how I would cope as I had been away from education for so long - 18 years! However it wasn't a problem.

"I found the teaching staff extremely helpful and supportive."

"I have now successfully completed my HNC and I’m going on to study for an HND in Biomedical Science next year at WCS again."

“There have been times when juggling priorities between my coursework, my part-time job and being a single mum was difficult. My son is only 9 years old and I had to miss some of his school shows, which I have to say was hard.  However I thoroughly enjoyed this course; I found it extremely interesting, challenging and rewarding and I am really glad I decided to do it!  I love learning and wish to further my knowledge – so I’m glad I chose to study at WCS.”

Sarah has taken every opportunity to gain the most from her course, with strong encouragement from the College.

“In the first block of my course I took on the voluntary role of Lab Steward which I really enjoyed and took up this role again in block 3.  When a position for a bank staff role working with the college Lab Technician came up I jumped at the chance and was delighted when I was successful in my application.

“I’ve loved working with our Lab Technician and I have learned a lot from them.  These roles have really helped my understanding of the practical work on the course, and will help on my HND and beyond."

I’m always looking for ways to increase my skill set; working in a lab is my ultimate goal, so the experience and opportunities I have been given here at WCS have been extremely beneficial and really will aid in my future employment.”

Sarah is now looking forward to another year at WCS, and an exciting future beyond that.

“I have made no firm plans for the future as of yet, I still have a lot to learn, but I love it at WCS and I think I would enjoy a career here if a permanent opportunity arose. I get on well with all the staff, they’re all very friendly and helpful. Regardless of where I work in the future though, I really enjoy the varied work that comes with the Lab Tech role, and can’t wait to continue my career.”