Taking an unusual route to get to her perfect career, Suzie Igoe moved from working in retail and hospitality on the Isles of Scilly to completing an Exercise, Health and Fitness course at Truro and Penwith College and working in Public Health.
Inspired by her increasing interest in the world of health and fitness, Suzie started running and gig rowing on the island recreationally before taking it to the next level and making a career move to health and fitness. Suzie applied for the FdSc Exercise, Health and Fitness course at Truro College to expand her knowledge and become qualified in her chosen area.
Spare room websites are really good to help you find somewhere to live. Lots of other students from the Isles of Scilly have found it easy enough.
Keen to study in Cornwall, she found that the course was convenient and flexible to fit her needs: "The College is close to the Isles of Scilly and the course looked like it had a good mix of modules. It was everything that I was interested in, it was good to learn more about topics I had a genuine passion for and could also apply to my own physical activity and nutrition. With lectures only spread across two days a week, I was able to have a part-time retail job alongside my studies."
Reengaging with her studies as a mature student, Suzie already had some life experience under her belt: "Returning to Education at age 25 was a good choice for me and the College environment was much better suited to my needs."
Suzie then became a Healthy Living Assistant for the Council-led 'Active Scilly' leisure service where she learnt a lot about the industry: "The job gave me great practical experience and got me on the career ladder for what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go."
While studying for her BSc Applied Exercise, Health and Fitness top-up year, Suzie worked for Cornwall Council as a Healthy Lifestyle Support Worker before progressing from health promotion to the public health sector as a Public Health Practitioner upon completion of the course.
"Having a public health module in my third year was really useful. It gave me a good grounding for what I actually do every day in my job now."
Being able to work alongside my education really helped me to get into the role that I'm in today. Working really helped my learning and learning helped my working. I wouldn't be where I am today without either of them.
Now working with a portfolio including healthy weight in children and families, Suzie provides research and guidance around initiatives that could work within communities in Cornwall: "My role is part of a team focused on children and young people who work towards providing the best start in life for our younger generations."
Pleased that she decided to return to study, Suzie now plans to progress in her current job and further her learning in her research-based role: "It was a brilliant course with a mix of practical and academic study which was applicable to lots of different career paths and job roles. At the end of my degree, it felt great to celebrate my achievements with my family at graduation and I would 100% not be in this job now without my degree because it was so closely related to my career choice."