Students urged to think ‘what if’ with degrees

Kasom Shah
Kasom Shah

COLLEGE bosses are urging adult learners to consider ‘what if?’ in a bid to steer them in new directions.

Tutors behind Burnley College University Courses (BCUC) have drafted in a clutch of mature students who have taken different paths to success to outline their aims.

One is former Accrington Stanley apprentice Kasom Shah, 22, who was looking for a fresh start when he experienced setbacks with his professional football ambitions.

The ex-Burnley Blessed Trinity College student enrolled on a sports and exercise BSc degree course and recently graduated. He is now a sports tutor with Accrington Stanley Football in the Community Trust.

Kasom said: “Through the course, I had the opportunity to deliver coaching sessions with local schools and sports groups, which really helped me to realise which areas of sport I want to focus on. “BCUC has a new sports complex and offers an Elite Athlete Programme with weekly training sessions and support from former professional coaches and sports scientists – including British Cycling.

“I hadn’t even thought about coaching before enrolling at BCUC but the course, and support from my tutors, really opened my eyes to a new world outside of playing professional football.”

He was able to still play at a semi-pro level with Barnoldswick Town and keep a part-time job at River Island in Burnley.

Another BCUC alumni is single parent Mary Harron, who was stuck in a job going nowhere when she embarked on her degree course.

The 41-year-old said: “ Life is too short to stay in a job you don’t like or to wonder ‘What If?’ I had time to think about what I really wanted to do – and I decided to get the qualifications I needed to get a better job.

“I’ve gained so much more than a just a qualification. My whole outlook has shifted about what is possible and I’ve gained a new-found confidence. I only wish I’d done it sooner.”

Nina Parkin, Dean of University Education at BCUC said: “Wondering ‘What If?’ can help you explore different possibilities and open your mind to new ideas.

"It can also help you find solutions to problems, as it encourages you to think outside the box and consider all possible options.”