Suzanne Ewing spent around 25 years in retail before deciding she wanted a change in her career. This is when she applied to West Lothian College and secured a place on the Int 2 Social Sciences Course.
“From there I studied Higher Social Sciences and then left education for work reasons, I’m a single parent and I didn’t feel I could reasonably go forward in education gaining debt in the form of students loans.
“After two unhappy years back in retail I went back to West Lothian College and completed HNC Social Sciences, during this year Karen Cullen from Queen Margaret University came in and talked about the associate programme. I had never considered myself university material, but writing a 500 word personal statement seemed easy compared to some of the assignments we were doing! So I put myself forward, I liked the idea of pushing for an A in my graded unit to skip a year of Uni.”
Suzanne was successful in gaining a place at QMU and hasn’t looked back since. She spent time in Venice attending Ca’foscari University and gained the confidence she needed to finally apply for and pass her driving test.
It hasn’t all been about herself though, Suzanne has done her part to help others on their educational journey.
“I also believe in giving back, I feel that I’ve been so lucky in achieving my place at University and on the trip abroad that I’ve helped out with student ambassador roles, Direct Entrant mentoring for students starting university later than their first year, peer-assisted learning and I volunteered with Lothian’s Equal Access Programme (LEAPS) throughout my third year as well.”
After her years of hard work Suzanne found success in her new chosen career path after Karen Cullen saw her potential and brought her on to work at the university.
“This all led me to my new employed role as Widening Participation Officer (Schools) for Queen Margaret. Understanding and caring about widening participation and understanding the importance of associate programmes/articulation routes is down to my own experiences of being supported and pushed forward by caring staff from both College and university.”