Who am I and where did I grow up?

My name is Tyler, and I grew up in the beautiful (albeit smelly) town of Widnes just outside Liverpool.

What’s my role at Hello Future?

I am the Graduate Intern Outreach Officer for West Cumbria.

What inspired me to consider Higher Education?

Higher Education (HE) did not really interest me when I was growing up. My mum worked at a local crisp factory and my dad was a postie, as a result I didn’t really have any examples to look towards of people who had been in HE. This all changed when I went into year 8/9, when the local crisp factory shut down and my mum became unemployed. Following this, my mum decided to go to university and eventually graduated with a degree and a PGCE qualification. Seeing this transformation first-hand really inspired me and made me determined to go into higher education myself.

My HE Experience

After receiving this inspiration, I decided to stay on at my High School 6th form and complete A Levels in Maths, Business Studies, English Literature, and History. I loved my time at 6th form. The familiarity of setting and teachers, the ability to study specific subjects I enjoyed in further detail, and the independence gained through HE were my favourite aspects. Having enjoyed it so much I decided I wanted to go to university. After much time and consideration, as well as consulting the school’s careers teams, I decided to study economics at the University of Manchester. Economics was a subject I had only briefly covered in Business Studies, however, it really took my interest. Moreover, it massaged my ego greatly, as saying you study economics naturally makes you sound clever, even if it that isn’t the case. Honestly, the decision to go to university is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. During my time, I met loads of new friends from different backgrounds (From London to Dubai), got to explore a city I loved, study a topic I was interested in, and finally gain significant independence from moving away from home. The last aspect was the most important to me. Moving out and into a house with friends was an amazing experience and meant for the first time in my life I felt like a proper adult. In the end, I loved my time in Manchester so much that I then decided to stay on and do a master’s degree there in Public Policy.

What I hope I can achieve at my time at Hello Future?

In terms of what I hope I can achieve at Hello Future, all my aims are inspired primarily by my own experience. Firstly, I would love to work with some mature learners who like my mum never really considered, or got the chance to go to HE. After seeing my mum’s transformation, I am a big believer in the idea that it is never to late to consider HE. That’s why I would encourage anyone who may feel they have missed the boat on HE to investigate their options. Ultimately, you could spend a few years studying a topic you love and then come out of higher education with more secure and enjoyable employment prospects. Secondly, I’d love during my time at Hello Future to help learners from backgrounds like mine. Due to a lack of examples around me, growing up I never even thought about HE. This is the reality for so many people who grew up in areas like Widnes. It became obvious to me at Manchester University that northerners in general were few in numbers. This made it difficult to settle in for a time. I hope to improve this, as ultimately students from disadvantaged backgrounds deserve to be there just as much as anyone else.

Why should you consider HE?

As this is a blog and I do not actually know you exist, I cannot tell you exactly why you should consider HE. However, I hope just reading this will encourage you to at least consider your options. Especially if you come from a background like mine which has not traditionally entered HE. ultimately, and I cannot stress this enough, you deserve to be there just as much as anyone else. Furthermore, most likely just like me you’ll love your time in HE and come out the other end with a more secure future and as a more well-rounded person.