Having worked within the retail sector of the computing industry for twenty years, Emma Greening chose to relocate to Cornwall following a restructuring of the company that she worked for.
Whilst adapting to the laid-back and liberating lifestyle that Cornwall offers, Emma took advantage of the free time that she had and started building websites, which even led to the start of her own one-woman business. Inspired by her enjoyment in this process, Emma decided to expand her knowledge of computing by returning to education to study the subject.
It was finally time to do what I should've done 20 years earlier. I started by attending a Truro and Penwith College Open Day, and just by taking this tiny step, I have completely changed my life.
Initially believing that she would have to complete her A Levels before progressing on to a degree course, Emma was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is a more suitable route available for those who are returning to education. Having learnt about the College’s Access to Higher Education courses at the College’s Open Day, Emma was overjoyed. She said: “The Access course only took a year to complete and I was able to study with people who, like me, had taken a break from education. An added benefit to completing the Access course at Truro and Penwith College is that the cost of the course is wiped if you go on to study a degree at the College.”
Despite passing the Access to Higher Education: Computing and IT course with a distinction, Emma admits: “Without the Access course, I would’ve really struggled during the first year of the FdSc Computer Technology course.”
Now in the second year of her degree, Emma is enjoying the wide range of content that the course covers and is excelling thanks to the high standard of teaching on offer.
I never thought I’d do so well but the lecturers really support you, encouraging you to build upon your skills all the time. I was chuffed to receive a first for the first assignment we were set on the FdSc Computer Technology course.
Finding that the individual level of support is made possible because of the smaller class sizes that the College offers, Emma said: “I have friends who are studying at larger institutions where the lecturers don’t even know their names, whereas I’m on first-name terms with my lecturers, and if I ever need help I just send them an email.”
Originally from Oxted in Surrey, Emma has come to think of Cornwall as her home and intends to stay here upon the completion of her degree. This decision is encouraged by the ever-growing IT community in Cornwall, especially with the introduction of a Spaceport in Newquay. Reflecting upon her childhood dream to be an astronomer, Emma confessed: “the fact that my qualification could lead to a job at the Spaceport is a dream come true.”
Despite initially starting her degree with the intention of teaching, Emma has found her lecturers so encouraging and the course content so interesting that she is also considering careers in web design and software testing.
With so many career options available to her, Emma admitted: “Coming back to College was the best move ever. I originally thought that four years of education is a long time, but it’s gone so fast. I can’t believe that in a year’s time I could be doing my teacher training.”