Sara Parkin - College of Life and Natural Sciences - University of Derby

Sara Parkin, BSc (Hons) Geography

Sara Parkin has recently won a national competition for her work in helping the homeless.

We find out more about her award and how her BSc (Hons) Geography degree has helped develop her career.

What are you doing now?

I started working at Amber Valley Housing Ltd based in Ripley (now Futures Homescape) in February 2004 as a Housing Advisor. I applied for a Senior Advisor position on a temporary basis and after a year applied for the Managers job.

This involves managing a small team of people to deliver Homeless and Housing Advice to anyone in housing need. It was this team that nominated me for The Young Leader 2012 award, run by 24 Housing Magazine, after we'd worked on a project to reduce the number of emergency bed and breakfast accommodation and secured £12,000 of external funding.

Whilst I've been in post I've gained a level 3 in CIH post graduate diploma and level 5 ILM in Leadership and Management and the team has been successful in winning the TPAS Best supporting People Team of the Year.

What were the main reasons you studied the course?

It covered a wide variety of subjects to enable numerous job opportunities.

Why did you choose to study the course at Derby?

I wanted to stay close to where I live, I felt Derby had the best reputation, so I attended the open days, found the tutors were really friendly and approachable and signed up for the course.

How would you sum up your experience of studying at Derby?

I had an amazing three years at Derby; the skills and knowledge that I gained gave me a great foundation to get a good career.

How did you find the lecturers and the support they gave you?

They were interesting, very supportive and provided one on one help whenever necessary which helped me identify my chosen career path.

What are your future plans?

Continue to work at Futures Homescape and develop the team plus The Young Leader award, run by 24 Housing magazine, have asked me to have a regular column, attend conferences and write articles and be an ambassador for young leadership. I'll also be spending a day with David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at Derby?

Go for it! The facilities are excellent and the tutors are great people who make you feel very welcome.

Sara Parkin "Go for it! The facilities are excellent and the tutors are great people who make you feel very welcome." Sara Parkin