Carol-ann Muller-Jones (Jones) - Keelite of the Month December 2015

1986 Law & Economics

What am I doing now?

Carol-ann at Keele Chapel I qualified as a Hairdresser three years ago and now work part time in a salon and volunteer at a local Hospice doing Patients' hair.

How did you get where you are now?

Anyone remember "The Boys from the Blackstuff"? My working life has been a bit like Yosser Hughes... 'I can do that, gizza job'. NACRO, Probation Service, Law, Education, even Girlguiding for 16 years. Who knows what will be next?

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Four healthy children brought to adulthood and making it to my second half century. They are Becca (Rebecca), Jamie (James), Nannie (Hannah) and Mimi (Naomi). Mimi started at Keele in September 2015.

And your biggest mistake?

Trying too hard for things that didn't matter and not hard enough for things that did... not a one-off occurrence!

Photo above: I have so few photos from Keele days but this is me outside the Chapel.

What are your ambitions now?

See my children settled and happy. Be a good person. Maybe have the confidence to see if I really can cut it academically and go back to being a student.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?

In any field... try and be a social chameleon. The Saturday Girl, Secretary or Cleaner has as much to contribute as the Chief Probation Officer and Head Teacher. Knowledge is everywhere, be open.

What made you choose Keele University?

I had only heard of a few Universities when a friend told me his brother went to Keele. Went to an Open Day and fell in love... I can't explain but it just felt right.

What kind of student were you?

Don't know.... not a Geek, not a Popular. Ask my friends!

How has Keele influenced your life?

Got time? Being able to go to University broke me free. Through the Foundation Year Keele gave me a beanfeast of different stuff to learn after the constraints of home and school and opened up a world of subjects I would never have come across. Plate Techtonics, The Korean War, Doris Lessing. Where else but Keele? I don't think I would have been as open to the opportunities I have had so far without the broad education, ethos and encouragement. Socially it was the first time I felt part of a community that cared. Keele gave me my best friends.

Photo left: Carol-ann outside Keele Chapel.

What is your favourite memory of Keele?

Being at 'Thorns. Walking back barefoot from the Summer Ball as the sun was rising. X block. The Daffodils. FY Lecture Theatre. The Lakes etc etc etc....

Carol-Ann at daughter's wedding What is your impression of Keele now?

I like to think it still has the basic values and ethos of its Founders and am happy to hear not only of it's success but of the way students continue to feel the same way about the place as I did and do. I am sad about the loss of FY but the world is a different place and learning is so much more accessible.

Anything else you would like to add?

Ruby Manikan said: 'If you educate a man you educate a person, but if you educate a woman you educate a family'. On 26th September 2015 I drove the last of my four to start university. Thank you Keele for your part in their lives and ask me in a while how things have changed from a student's point of view.... I dropped Mimi off at G Block 'Thorns! So I will be a regular visitor to Keele and plan to get a GardCard along with Allan (with my daughter's knowledge and insistence).

The photo shows me with my Mum and two youngest daughters at my eldest's wedding in August 2015.