Meet: Joe O’Dea
Meet Joe, a former Oaklands College student who studied Level 2 - Foundation Degree in Sport Studies and has progressed onto University.
Name: Joe O’Dea
Courses Studied: Level 2 Diploma in Sport, Level 3 Sport and Exercise Sciences, Foundation Degree in Sports Studies.
Joe joined Oaklands College in 2014, first enrolling onto a Level 2 Diploma in Sport and leaving Oaklands with a fantastic 2:1 Foundation Degree in Sports Studies – We sat down with Joe to learn all about his educational journey.
Tell us about your time at Oaklands. What led you to study here and what did you enjoy about your time at the college?
The main factor for me deciding to study at Oaklands was due to their wide range of sporting courses on offer along with their fantastic sporting facilities. I started off on the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Sport course which was a great platform for me, as it helped me realise I had a huge passion for learning about sport and the different components. I then progressed onto the BTEC Level 3 in Sport and Exercise Science course, which again I really enjoyed.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of the tutors during my time at Oaklands, that was one of the main factors why I decided to progress onto the Foundation Degree after my Level 3 course, as I had great support from the lecturers. They really helped and pushed me to ensure I could achieve the best grade possible.
Tell us about your decision to progress into Higher Education, did you find the Foundation Degree at Oaklands a helpful platform to progress into degree-level learning?
Yes, after the Foundation Degree I achieved an overall average of 60% meaning I could progress straight away onto Level 6 at the University of Hertfordshire full-time, for their BSc (Hons) in Sport Studies course.
Moving forward, I’ve recently been accepted onto a PGCE in Further Education course at the University of Greenwich, London. The course is a one-year course where I’ll be on placement in a college somewhere whilst attending university twice a week. The qualification is Post-Grad and based at Level 7, so I’m eager to get started and hopefully add another qualification to my CV. I’m due to start in September. However, I was due to progress onto University College London but they had to cancel their PGCE offering in Post Compulsory Education due to the current coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, Greenwich will be great for me as I plan to have career teaching within the FE sector.
What would you say have been major highlights of your student life that you may wish to share with us and our students?
Overall, achieving a First in my dissertation was a major highlight for me. Although, carrying out work experience during my time when I was studying at Level 3 was really good. I carried out my work experience at a local secondary school in Stevenage within their PE department, that was a great insight for me and it was good to build and enhance my CV as well.
I gained experience again in my final year at university and it showed me what career and educational sector I wanted to pursue and that was FE.
What advice would you give to new Oaklands students if you had a chance?
Always try to get work experience within the industry you would like to work in. Work experience is a great benefit to add to your CV and shows your dedication and commitment to what you’re trying to achieve.
What would be your dream job, is it what you are working towards currently?
Yes – It would be what I’m currently working towards and that is to become a fully qualified FE sports lecturer. As I now have my bachelor’s degree in sport studies, i’m looking to achieve my PGCE which will enable me to become a fully qualified FE lecturer.
The long term is vision is maybe to work for a professional football club within their educational department or maybe work abroad in Australia!