Case study

From the office to the ice wall: Dainora's leap of faith

Climbing ice walls, swinging through the trees and navigating whitewater rapids - that's what Dainora Jureviciute was dreaming about when she was working in an office. Now, after joining our degree in Outdoor Leadership, she is already getting paid to teach the activities she loves.

Jumping in at the deep end

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.”

Dainora Jureviciute joins fellow Outdoor Leadership and Management Students on a residential trip to Rjukan in Norway to go Ice Climbing

Following a different path

About to embark on her third year, Dainora was working for a plastics manufacturing company for two years before deciding to follow her passion, working in the outdoors.

She says: “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.”

Taking every opportunity

Dainora has already boosted her employability by taking additional qualifications, including National Governing Body (NGB) awards in specific sports. Many of these opportunities are free or at discounted prices. She has strengthened her CV with qualifications in everything from hill skills and outdoor-specific first aid to paddlesport skills and lowland leadership.

And 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.”

Ice Climbing in Norway
Climbing an ice wall in Norway

Getting out there

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.

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.

“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!” 

Dainora Jureviciute on the beach with her climbing gear
Dainora Jureviciute
People walking

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