Alumni Profile - Kelly Stones
Name: Kelly Stones
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Currently Residing: Brunei, Borneo
Year of Graduation: 2011
Degree Subject: Education
Department School Name: Further Education Sector
Job Title: Nursery Manager
Industry: Public Sector
Profession: Early Years Specialist
Employer: Ministry of Defence
Why did you choose to study at the University of Bolton?
I had graduated from the University of Bolton in 2005 with a BA Hons Business Studies; after having a change in career, I returned to the University of Bolton to complete my post graduate course. I'm also from Bolton originally so it made sense to attend the University. It's easy to access with it being in a prime town centre location too!
Why did you choose your course?
I wanted to pursue a career in education. I had been working in a more 'supportive' profession which gradually pivoted me towards education. After becoming a Childminder and gaining Early Years qualifications I discovered I really had a passion for education and knew that my path was meant to lead me down the education facilitating route, so I ambitiously pursued it and I'm so glad I did!
What was the best thing about your course?
The tutor, Rowley Hutchinson, who was (and I'm sure still is) so inspiring and made the course so interesting! As a teacher myself, I can only hope to impact on students in the same way. In addition to Rowley, the other students on the course really made it great! We became a close group and remain friends today. Finally, the icing on the cake was my placement at Wigan & Leigh College teaching L2 and L3 childcare courses, and yes I am still in touch with some of my students from there!! I know that's 3 things but they all contributed!
What advantages has your University of Bolton degree given you?
I have been able to pursue a career in education, specialising in Early Years, by merging all my qualifications, knowledge and skills together! I really am living the dream! I had been able to travel the world with my children, enjoy different cultures and environments and gain experience of international schools. My journey started with teaching in the Middle East from 2011-2015 and now I am thriving in my current post in South East Asia!
What advice would you give new students coming to the University to help them make the most of their time here?
I would say, really embrace the challenges you will undoubtedly face, make the most of the facilities on campus and the knowledge and expertise your tutors can offer, get involved in University Campus activities and clubs, make lots of new friends and ensure you maintain a healthy work/study:life balance! Most importantly, don't ever give up on your dreams and ambitions! Your university years will be pivotal to the rest of your life so make them the most fulfilling they can be.
Were you involved in any clubs and societies as a student?
Yes, when I was a undergraduate student I was involved in a lot of Student Union functions as well as the hockey club. I also regularly accessed the gym on campus too. When I returned some years later, to complete my PGDE, I had 2 children at home which limited my ability to get more involved in sports as I had nursery/school pick ups, however, I still accessed a number of the functions within the Student Union.
What did you enjoy most about your time at Bolton?
The friendly and engaging atmosphere. The University of Bolton is so diverse and multi-cultural! It is easy to absorb the variety of culture people had to offer. This inevitably led to making life-long friends which is easy to achieve at the University.
How did these experiences or your time at Bolton help shape you as a person moving from being a student to a graduate of the University.
I was, and still am, proud to be a graduate of the University of Bolton. I was in the first cohort of graduating students who were honoured enough to graduate when the University moved from being Bolton Institute of Higher Education to The University of Bolton in 2005!
Was the first job that you took after graduation related to your degree?
Yes it was in the education sector
What is your current position?
Can you briefly describe your career journey from your time as a student until the present day?
I've been employed in the Education industry and taught in a range of schools, that offered the British curriculum, since graduating from my PGDE in 2011. I started off as an Teacher working in Dubai for 3 years. During this time, I was able to obtain additional responsibilities as Head of Digital Learning. I then left Dubai and headed to Bahrain where I was Deputy Head of Infants, with additional classroom responsibility, in another international school offering the British curriculum. At the end of last year I left the private international industry and secured a post with the MoD. My initial posting was to work in Brunei, where I am still residing and working today. My role here was to set up and establish a British Nursery, offering the EYFS, to service families and other entitled personnel of the Garrison. Being new to the environment, I faced several hurdles and challenges but by engaging with the community and the relevant agencies, I was able to successfully set the Nursery up and it opened its doors at the end of January 2016; we are about to embark on our 2nd academic year!
What has your involvement been with the University since you graduated if any?
I have joined the Alumni Association. I was interested in pursuing a Masters in Education through the University, but as I need to complete this online I was not able to enrol.