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1990 Management Science & Computer Science
1991 Information Technology & Business Studies
What I am doing now:
I’m training NHS staff in Bristol how to use an electronic patient care record system
How did you get to where you are now?
Despite my teaching qualification I didn’t end up teaching. I did some lecturing, corporate training and kids’ IT holiday club but effectively spent nearly two decades as the IT Systems Manager in the high school at the bottom of Keele bank (I didn’t get far, huh!) and saw massive changes in educational IT over that period. Two years ago the school was in dire financial straits and made many of the support staff redundant – just as the UK was in a recession! So I ended up moving to a brand new city with a different kind of temporary job in the NHS.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I’m very proud of what I have achieved in my spare time; helping to direct a company that organises large-scale fantasy live role playing events. Each of these now attracts around a thousand costumed players and involves nearly a hundred staff. This was a hobby that started at Keele – it would never have happened were it not for the easy way I could run games with students running around campus with water pistols and at weekends wandering into the woods in costume and waving swords about!
And your biggest mistake?
I’m grouchy enough at the best of times, without trying to examine my past for mistakes - that will just make me worse.
What are your ambitions now?
Currently I just want to become settled again – find myself a permanent job and a permanent home again.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?
I would never have been offered a post as a trainer without having had a formal training qualification – in my case, it was a computing PGCE from Keele (despite the fact that when I did it, even Windows 95 was still just a glint in Bill Gates’ eye!) I’ve had to pick up a lot of clinical knowledge from nothing over the past year which I have found fun.
What made you choose Keele University?
Originally it was the joint honours degree and the fact that Keele was a campus university. I also became very interested in the unique Foundation Year that Keele offered. That was an amazing time….
What kind of a student were you?
I was one of the very few students who attended every 9am FY lecture but by the 11am FY lecture more students had woken up! I never missed any of my lectures so I was a very good boy. Outside learning I had a very busy life running several societies. The main ones I put my student life into were SF&F (Science Fiction & Fantasy), KLAS (Keele Live Action Society) and Wargames & Boardgames. I was still running one society over a decade after I graduated. After one particularly messy Rocky Horror Picture Show presentation, as Society President, I was threatened with being kicked out from Keele without them realising I hadn’t actually been a student there for several years!
How has Keele influenced your life?
I can’t find the words to express it. My ex-wife used to say that Keele must have a brain-washing programme, because everyone she had ever met who was a Keele student would just go on and on about it!
What is your favourite memory of Keele?
I could say it was the meal tickets and Horwood refectory or the freshers’ marts or maybe it was my room in G Block Horwood, as I had exactly the same room for four years, but actually it has to be Keele Woods in all its different guises throughout the years - as I refereed groups of costumed students venturing into its depths to see what monsters lurked within….
What is your impression of Keele now?
Aha – could it be the new main entrance, the posh looking science technology park buildings or the fancy curved Medical School building? No, for me, it’s seeing the woods finally being looked after and restored…
Anything else you would like to add?
To mangle a great line from The Eagles: “Keele – you can check out any time you like but it will never leave you…”