BA (Hons) Outdoor Leadership and Management (current student)
Dainora broadens her skills and horizons
A whole new world of opportunities has opened up for Dainora Jureviciute since she switched from an office job to our Outdoor Leadership degree.
From ice climbing in Norway to kayaking in Slovenia, from experience as an outdoor instructor to gaining additional qualifications alongside her degree, Dainora has seized every chance to broaden her skills and horizons as she works towards her ambition of launching her own business.
“I think our course offers the best learning experience anyone studying a degree could possibly have,” she says. “It covers everything from the practical elements to in-depth theory, all delivered by knowledgeable lecturers.
“The location of the campus at Buxton is just great. All the climbing sites are a short drive away and there are rivers and hills where you can gain practice and log your experience towards your qualifications.”
About to embark on her third year, Dainora was working for a plastics manufacturing company for two years before deciding to join a course which spans all the outdoor activities she loves – and much more.
She enthuses: “We experience many scenarios we are likely to come across once we start working in the outdoor sector. We look at real case studies and study the most recent research about outdoor sports, psychology and coaching which is very valuable for our careers. We’re also learning from some of the best professionals in the fields of climbing, mountaineering and kayaking.”
One way in which she has already boosted her employability is by taking additional qualifications, including National Governing Body awards in specific sports. Many of these opportunities are free or at discounted prices. Dainora has strengthened her CV with qualifications in everything from hill skills and outdoor-specific first aid to paddlesport skills and lowland leadership.
She has put such skills to good use throughout. Within months of joining the University, she became a shadowing instructor at our Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre and has since moved on to a paid role there, including working on a National Citizen Service camp. She has also secured a part-time job as a site instructor at Go Ape.
Dainora explains that it all contributes to her career plans: “I want to gain even more NGB qualifications to work as a freelance instructor, build as much experience as I can and move on to setting up a business in the outdoors.”
From the first week of her degree, Dainora has enjoyed inspirational fieldtrips, including residentials in the Staffordshire Moorlands, the Lake District and Wales. She has also been on optional paid trips ice climbing in Norway, kayaking in Slovenia and sport climbing in Greece, with a trekking trip to Morocco planned for 2018.
Dainora’s commitment to her studies was underlined when she received the Dean’s Award for her performance in her first year. Her advice to future students is to exploit everything the course offers from day one, attend all the practical sessions available, speak to lecturers and other students about any development opportunities, and take part in employer presentations to start networking as soon as possible.
She says: “Even if you're not experienced, employers in the outdoors are looking for enthusiastic people who are passionate about what they want to do. So don't wait until you have all the qualifications: you may find it easier to gain them if you put yourself out there.”
Dainora concludes: “If you want to gain insights from some of the most experienced professionals in the field, look more in-depth at the theoretical side of the outdoor industry and get the full real-world learning experience, then this course is for you!”