Alumni of the Month September 2008

RACHEL FORSYTH (2004 Law and Criminology)

aom_RachelForsyth 1. How did you get to where you are now?
After leaving Keele I did a few jobs including working in a call centre and teaching English in Japan. I also did some volunteering with the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust. I heard about the Careership scheme whilst doing a working holiday in the Lake District. I applied in April 2007 and started work as a Warden in the September.  The Careership scheme is a 3 year training program run by the National Trust to train Wardens and Gardeners. During that time I get 3 years on the job training, 10 weeks each year at college, NVQ 2 and 3 in Environmental Conservation and a chainsaw licence! As well as lots of other qualifications and practical experience.

2. What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Getting the Careership job over 55 other applicants. And spending 6 months teaching English in Japan – an amazing experience!

3. And your biggest mistake?
Reversing the work Land Rover into a wall – twice.

4. What are your ambitions now?
To complete the Careership scheme and then get a job, hopefully with the National Trust, working outside. And to improve my rugby skills and do my Level 1 coaching course.

5. What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in a similar field?
VOLUNTEER! This is the way in to the environmental conservation sector. The National Trust working holidays and BTCV are great places to start. You need to be prepared to be outside in all weathers, but the rewards for it are great. Who else gets to ride a quad bike at work whilst hunting for ponies?

6. What made you choose Keele University?
I’m not really a city girl so Keele was perfect with its country (middle of nowhere…) location. Plus it had a great atmosphere when I visited.

7. How has Keele influenced your life?
Keele was where I really started to play rugby and still do today. It has also left me with some great friends and great memories!

8. What is your favourite memory of Keele?
Sitting by the lake in summer, drinking beer after the exams have finished. And dancing in the Union.

9. And your worst?
Breaking my arm before my first year exams and having to dictate them!

10. Anything else you would like to add?
Find a job you enjoy! I don’t get paid as well as my London city mates but I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world.