PASS Leader 2011-13
Heather Ford was a PASS Leader in Theology. She graduated with a 1st class degree in 2013
1. What attracted you to getting involved in PASS?
I wanted to meet the first years and help them with getting to grips with both their course and the transition to university life. I also want to be a teacher so there was also a selfish motive to improve my group leadership and teaching skills.
2. Tell me a bit about the activities you have been involved in with PASS.
I've been involved with leading the Theology PASS sessions for an academic year and also attended a weekend conference at Brighton University that was focused on improving the PASS scheme and giving students an opportunity to enhance their networking skills between universities.
3. What skills have you developed as a result of being involved in PASS?
I've cultivated a skill of planning lessons as I had to help plan the weekly sessions, incorporating aspects such as ice breakers and closing remarks into each session. I've also improved my communication skills and improved my patience and ability to help people arrive at the right answer themselves rather than just telling them the answer. Overall, helping to facilitate group discussions has also helped me to be a leader but also know when to step back and let the group naturally converse between each other- knowing when to be the leader but also the ability to read the situation and realise that the best role is sometimes to become a member of the group myself.
4. How do you think your experience will help you when you start to look for your graduate career?
This has helped me to enhance my teaching, leading and communication skills, as well as experience first hand certain situations that may require more planning or use of my own initiative. This will be a key example to use when answering interview questions or writing personal statements in my career path to become a teacher. PASS has also given me more confidence to be able to speak and lead a group of young people, a skill that will undoubtedly help me in any career path, teaching or otherwise.
5. What have you learned about yourself?
I've learned that I can inject fun into learning (or at least try) as well as learning that if attendance sometimes goes down or someone says they don't like a certain module etc, to not take it personally, instead just try and work towards fulfilling their needs. This confidence that PASS has given to me has been extremely helpful and so the biggest lesson is probably confidence related- that if I put my mind to it, I can and will become a good teacher.
6. Would you recommend PASS to other students?
I would definitely recommend PASS to other students, first as a method to enhance their learning and also then if they enjoy it, as a method for them to help other students as well as get to know them. Some of the people I've met through PASS are amazing, it would have been a real shame to not have had this chance to gain such friendships at uni.