We are fast approaching the end of the first semester for our students and this will be the end of the first ever semester for our new BA Criminal Justice with Offender Management degree. Kate Price discusses how the course is already helping her to pursue a career in offender management.
“I decided I wanted a career change, having been unsatisfied with work for many years; previous jobs never quite hit the spot the same way as if I was doing what I really wanted to, so I took the plunge and applied for university in summer 2018. I was overcome with joy when I got accepted on to my first course of choice – Criminal Justice with Offender Management – and now just 7 weeks down the line, I am training with SOVA as a volunteer to mentor ex-offenders; it’s rather surreal.
I first heard about this company in one of my lectures; we had a volunteer come in and talk to the class about what service they provide and the types of clients that come through their doors in search of help. Immediately I knew it was what I wanted to do, so I applied. I had received an email inviting me for a telephone interview, which really made my day, then I got offered a 2-day training course; I prepared myself!
I got up the morning the training began, I was nervous, excited and a little anxious, but I pushed through. Questions went through my head on the drive there: what will they ask me, what will I have to do? My anxiety has held me back before but I was determined to overcome it, so I walked into the room with my head up and, to my delight, there were some familiar faces which put me at ease right away; the other people there were all wonderful too, people from all walks of life – it was a real eye opener. I learnt so much whilst training about what support is in place for offenders upon release from prison, about being understanding and empathetic whilst remaining professional and firm: this was fantastic, I thought to myself.
I have been invited back to attend more training with SOVA, this time learning about homelessness. It has opened so many doors for me and is giving me a great opportunity to further my studies, but in relation to what I want to do after I graduate.
I have my second interview fast approaching [and] after this I will get to meet my own mentees. I am looking forward to helping others who are trying to settle back in to the community, those who are making positive steps with their lives and pushing through their own demons like I did. Wish me luck!”