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August 2012: Joe Turner
2011 BA Criminology and Sociology, 2012 MA Criminology and Criminal Justice
What am I doing now?
I’m currently completing my Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I am also President of Keele University Students' Union.
How did you get to where you are now?
My story isn’t a particularly extraordinary one. After moving back to the UK from Fiji, I did my GCSE’s and A levels at Blessed William Howard School in Stafford. Afterwards, I took up full time employment working in a local restaurant and decided to take up a one year A level at Stafford College. My friends got me interested in University with all their stories after they returned at the end of their first semester. I applied that summer but unfortunately I didn’t achieve the best results from my A levels so didn’t qualify for a place at Keele. Obviously I was upset, but the nice lady who I spoke to at the admissions office (who I would later work alongside in the very same office!) reassured me and offered me a foundation year place instead - which I immediately accepted. Since then, I haven’t looked back and made the most of every opportunity that has come my way. Eventually I progressed from my foundation year to my undergraduate degree and achieved a II/1 enabling me to study a Master's at Keele.
Photo: in traditional Fijian dance costume
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement so far has been to be elected Student Union President at Keele for 2012/13
And your biggest mistake?
My biggest mistake has been to not appreciate good friends enough. We eventually have to move on with our lives but losing friends is very hard for me to deal with. I suppose another mistake was not going to my tutors and lecturers more for advice on assignments and reading. Their experience, advice and support is invaluable for getting the most from our academic studies.
What are your ambitions now?
My ambition now is to have great term in office as president and do my best to serve students at Keele. Beyond that, I am aiming to join the Police service, work my way up to the top and then keep going. By the time I retire, I’ll either take up teaching, own a pub or both!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?
Criminology is a field of study that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in social structures and behaviours that relate to crime and theories that try to explain why we break or, more importantly, don’t break the rules. I would say to those who are looking to study Criminology that they should come in with an open mind and when you do begin studying, do your reading!
What made you choose Keele University?
Honestly, I chose Keele because it was a beautiful in real life as it was in the prospectus. I made up my mind as soon as I saw the trees! Growing up in Fiji, I was used to being surrounded by greenery and Keele felt like a nice place to settle in to. It wasn’t till later that I began to appreciate the wealth of knowledge my lecturers, staff and fellow students had to offer as well as the friendly and supportive atmosphere of Keele.
What kind of a student were you?
Hmm… Good question. I’d always describe myself as an ‘all-arounder’ student. I’ve never been the strongest academic but rather than focusing all my time on my studies to compensate, I immersed myself in everything that Keele had to offer. I learned how to play hockey (still playing 5 years later), I joined societies (eventually becoming vice-president for both the Bar and Law Societies), jobs (working with Keelelink, widening participation) and volunteering (in society work, e-mentoring and as resident tutor).
How has Keele influenced your life?
Keele has made me a stronger, more capable person who is prepared to take on future challenges using my unique set of skills and talents, which have been carefully nurtured in this welcoming space.
What is your favourite m
emory of Keele?
My favourite memory of Keele is when I met my girlfriend, now of four years, at the end of my foundation year. Sam has supported me and put up with me when no one else could. What I’ll also remember forever is the feeling of Keele - happiness and gratitude. Happiness for all the good memories I can take away from my experience at Keele and gratitude for the opportunity Keele gave me when they offered me a foundation year place.
Photo: In KUBE Radio
What is your impression of Keele now?
Although Keele has changed a great deal in the five years I’ve been here, from conversations with Keele alumni, I think it has been and remains a welcoming and nurturing environment that prepares us for the future, inspiring us to take on greater challenges and pass on what we’ve learned to those we encounter. Keele will always be my home, it’s made me who I am now, it’s that place I can’t wait to leave now for the next adventure but I will always long to return to.
Anything else you would like to add?
I recently sat on the Keele Key Fund disbursement committee meeting in which applications for funding for various projects were considered and it is heart-warming to see how the generous donations from alumni have been used so effectively by students and staff to enrich the experience of those at Keele.