Case study

Natasha’s work experience opened her eyes to healthy lifestyles

Natasha Cresswell-Amour joined our BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health course after a realisation in life that health and nutrition are vital to positive wellbeing. Carrying out her work placement with the British Weightlifting Organisation she realised leading a healthy lifestyle is “not as black and white as people may think”.

Work placement opportunities

Not only has Natasha had the opportunity to take part in extra courses, but she has also developed skills essential for the world of work by completing a work placement helping to organise events with the British Weightlifting Organisation. The placement also offered unexpected training to qualify for a Technical Official for their competitions, which is an added bonus. She stated that the placement helped her to realise “that leading a healthy lifestyle is not as black and white as people may think. There are so many barriers people face, and you need to learn how to face these issues to help others.”

A male weight lifter preparing to lift a heavy weighted Olympic bar

Opportunities outweigh the challenges

When asked what advice she would give to anyone thinking of studying at the University of Derby, Natasha replied “It would be one of the greatest decisions of your life. The opportunities you will be offered are unbelievable. I started university thinking I was going to have to choose one narrow path to follow, but the University of Derby has shown me otherwise, and I feel I will have a successful future.” She also wanted to remind those worried about facing challenges that:

“You’re not alone. Most people will face some sort of challenge, and without challenges, you will never learn and grow. It’s good to be scared, it shows you care, and you will push yourself harder to prove you can overcome it."

Ability to adapt

As a mature student, she had to adapt to studying again but found that learning was easier than expected as “the support from the academics is incredible, they all want to help you in every way they possibly can. They also make the modules enjoyable to learn, even if it’s a topic you’re not as interested in as others.”

Natasha was awarded the University of Derby's Dean's Award, an honour given to the top 10 per cent performing students, for her hard work in her first year.

Enhancing employability

Whilst studying this course, Natasha has also gained additional qualifications including, gym instructor level 2, personal trainer level 3, and sport massage level 3, which have helped to increase her experience and enhanced her employability. Since completing the sports massage course, she has managed to set up her own business as a mobile sports massage therapist, which she runs alongside her family life and studying. She is also still in contact with the team members from the British Weightlifting Organisation and is always interested to find out about how she can help at future events.