1. Tell us about yourself
My name is Jake and I live in Austria. I'm married with two young boys and a beautiful wife. Last year I got a first from ARU in Early Childhood Studies and I am now halfway through doing my PGCE with ARU.
Due to passing my BA, I managed to secure a fantastic new job founding a brand new kindergarten on Lake Wolfgang in Austria. We specialise in Reggio Emilia and Montessori, and have students from all over the world who range between the ages of 1-4. This opportunity came about from teaching at another international school in my village, where I was working in the boarding team. I was told a new kindergarten was being built and a colleague gave me the information to apply. It was serendipity as I had just finished my degree in Early Childhood Education and it was the perfect role for me without having to move anywhere.
2. What is your fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University?
My fondest memory with ARU was the WhatsApp group we created. We would share our thoughts, worries, memories with each other, and would also help each other with studying. It was a great way to connect with people for those who were distance learning.
3. What has been your favourite job?
My current role is my favourite as it was always my dream to work in kindergarten, and now I am. I specifically enjoy learning the different methods that a Reggio Emilia system offers as it is child-led discovery, working on provocations to begin a project they enjoy and not forcing them to play or learn something.
4. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?
5. How did your time at ARU help you?
It helped me secure my dream job. But as equally important, was the confidence it gave me in academic and professional work. I would never have thought I'd be a first class student before I joined ARU.
6. What did you love about your chosen course?
I really loved the research side of my course. Digging deep into a specific subject is highly appealing and the help you receive from ARU allows you to dig as deep as you can.
7. What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate?
Keep on top of your work, and don't leave things to the last minute. Allow for 2 or 3 drafts before handing in work, and also, take advantage of the study skills area in the Library.
8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?
That I actually enjoy studying! ARU and more specifically my tutors who mentored me allowed me to explore my academic skills with excellent support. The feedback they provided was very helpful in excelling in the learning objectives each module required. The library service is also very helpful; when I was stuck when writing an assignment for a module, using the study skills area was invaluable.
9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My wife is my biggest influence. She is a leader in a school and continues to support me in my education and professional work. She is my biggest cheerleader and is always there to offer support and advice when its needed. She is also very fair in letting me do my studying in peace, whilst she takes care of our children!
10. What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't be lazy; believe in yourself.
11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I used to play squash for Great Britain in my teens and I can now teach squash to a high level.
12. What’s next?
Next for me is to continue to work and develop the new school and move into a senior leadership position when the time is right. My wife and I plan to move to Asia and discover and live in a new culture and are excited about the future.