Natalie Hardware, BA Social Work (2010)

Natalie HardwareWhere are you working now and what are you doing?

I am working as a social worker for Birmingham City Council on a Duty and Assessment Team.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

Becoming a social worker has enabled me to put the information and knowledge gained through my studies into practice. The best thing about what I am doing now is applying theory to practice.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?

The pressure and encouragement to succeed at a high standard was the best thing. I felt the support I gained and expectations placed on students, enabled me to achieve much higher grades than I thought I could.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

Utilise all the support available and do not be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about anything. As an adult learner you need to take responsibility for your learning. Be prepared for a very demanding course physically and mentally, also for the three years to be consumed by studies. Be assured though that all the tears, sweat and pain will be worth it when you graduate!

How did you grow as a person by coming to University? Did it change your life in any way?

I have grown in confidence since joining the course and I am able to communicate my opinions in a clear and concise manner, and I have learnt to listen to other people's opinions and respect them. I have also changed from looking at situations, both personal and professional, with tunnel vision, to taking each situation individually and holistically. Completing the course has taught me about myself and allowed me to have the confidence to be a better person.