Wendy was at King Edward’s 1992-1997 and has recently enjoyed a small ‘class of 97’ reunion in Newcastle.
We’re all in our 40’s now and decided it would be nice to get together again after 22 years and reminisce!
Read on to discover Wendy’s journey and advice:
At school I took, and passed, 9 GCSE’s, then I went on to do A Levels in Geography, Geology and Biology. During my time at KEVI, I was captain for the girl’s Hockey team 1993-1997 and also played Tennis for the school.
I didn’t do all that well in my A Levels, but gained a B in Geography. However, I was accepted by the University of Dundee on the BSc (Hons) Environmental Management degree. I had the most amazing 4 years, during which I played for the University’s Hockey team and also took up Rowing, representing the University’s Boat Club on numerous occasions. The degree course was amazing and I graduated in 2001 with a First Class BSc (Hons) degree and I was awarded the Eco Prize for the highest aggregate final year mark.
After graduation, I worked at Newcastle University as a researcher and part-time lecturer for a couple of years, before moving on to roles at Northumberland County Council, Keep Britain Tidy, then Green Tourism.
In 2011/ 2012 I took a career break, trained to become a Yachtmaster and took part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, sailing over 4000 nautical miles on a 68ft racing yacht from New York to Southampton.
In 2013, I appeared on everyone’s favourite tea time TV programme, Come Dine With Me – I can’t say it was one of my better decisions but I’ll keep the behind the scenes stories for another day!
For the past 5 years I have been working for Groundwork NE & Cumbria as Visitor and Education Centre Coordinator. I am responsible for managing and delivering the environmental education programme across the three local authorities of Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. I absolutely love my job, every day is different and I get to do something I am passionate about. During my time at Groundwork, I have gained a number of additional qualifications; Level 3 Award in Education and Training, Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training and a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education. I have an MA in Research Methods and Critical Analysis and I’m currently a part-time student at the University of Sunderland, studying for a Professional Doctorate in Environmental Education, which I hope to complete next year.
What advice would I give my 16 year old self? Hmmm, pull your finger out and try harder in Geology and Biology (although, to be fair, I only chose Biology because the Home Economics A Level didn’t have enough take up, so didn’t run 1995-1997, which was rather disappointing). My 18 year old self – don’t worry, everything is going to be just fine. I firmly believe in life-long learning and you’re never too old to study. Take every opportunity you can to travel and explore the world, experience different cultures. I have been lucky enough to travel extensively over Europe, Asia, Australasia, North and South America and never pass up an opportunity, as you only regret the things you didn’t do.
I often take part in events arranged by Business in the Community and I really enjoy talking to the students to build their confidence, so they know they can achieve anything they want.
Love Wend x