Liz Curnew originally studied for a HND in Business and Finance at South & City College Birmingham at the age of 21. Years later she returned to college to do an apprenticeship in Customer Services (PCSO). She is now a Police Community Support Officer with West Midlands Police.
Liz agreed to share her experiences with our Alumni Team - here’s what she had to say about how her time at college helped her get where she is today and the challenges that come with working in the community.
“I have never known what I wanted to do, but I had worked for West Midlands Police for 10 years so when the opportunity came up to return to work as a Police Community Support Officer, I jumped at the chance to do the apprenticeship.
“My time at South & City College Birmingham allowed me to reflect on my role and enhance my understanding of customer service and how important this is in all walks of life. The skills that I have learnt are transferable to many workplaces.
“Passing my initial PCSO training was a huge career highlight,” said Liz.
“I am now seconded as a Prince's Trust Team Leader for West Midlands Police and I support a group of 16-25 year olds to meet their goals and get them ready for training, education or employment.”
Liz also shared some of the challenges that come with working as a Police Community Support Officer.
“Being a working mum and finding a work/life balance has been a challenge,” she said. “Also supporting vulnerable victims that do not have the capacity to make choices in their best interests.”
So what’s next for Liz?
“I am content where I am at the moment but I know I will always challenge myself to achieve,” she said. “I am currently studying for a distance learning degree in Criminology and Youth Justice. In five years’ time I see myself having a degree and a ten and eleven year old!”
Finally, Liz had some words of wisdom to share with her fellow alumni thinking about returning to study:
“If your heart is telling you to do it, make sure your head is taking the right action to achieve it,” she said. “Whatever you desire, take the small steps towards your goal, don't let anyone deter you from your dreams.”
Thanks so much for your time Liz, we wish you every success!
If you are an ex-student of the College and want to share your experiences since leaving, get in touch with our alumni team! It’s great to share your story and motivate others. To provide a testimonial or to see the achievements of our former students, visit the alumni website at https://alumni.sccb.ac.uk