Miv Hipkiss - BA in Educational Studies
A lifelong desire to work with children has come to fruition for Miv Hipkiss, who secured a rewarding career in family support after graduating with a first class honours degree from Cardiff Met.
The 26 year-old from Gloucester took three years out to work as bookseller after completing her A Levels at school, and used the time to decide on her chosen dream career working with children.
Miv said: "I always wanted to work with children but wasn't sure exactly what profession I wanted to go into, so I didn't want to go down the route of a teaching degree. I chose the Education and Early Childood Studies course as I knew this would give me flexibility for future professions. I also knew that the course could set me up for a PGCE if I wanted to teach in the future, but I could also use the degree for a variety of other careers. "
"Cardiff Met was one of a few universities that offered this joint course. I had spent a lot of time in Cardiff and loved the city, the university was growing and developing and seemed ideal for me."
Miv cited work placements during the course at Cardiff Met as inspiration for her future career in family support.
She said: "The placements catered for me as an individual and I was able to explore different settings such as a children's hospice and a school specialising in teaching children with additional emotional and behaviour needs. The opportunity to work in a hospice opened my eyes to potential career paths in supporting families and is an experience I won't forget. The course as a whole involved a great balance between written assignments, group work and even fun assignments where we designed and made our own children's toys."
Three months after finishing her degree, Miv applied for an early years assistant position in a children's centre in Gloucester, and after just two months was promoted to a the role of family support worker.
Again, Miv's experience of work placements during her degree course proved invaluable, giving her the opportunity to talk about her varied experiences and skills during the interview and selection process.
The role of family support worker involves working with vulnerable families in deprived and disadvantaged areas. Miv supports families who could be suffering from domestic abuse, debt or housing problems, who may need parenting strategies, as well as work with children who are at risk of abuse.
Speaking about how her role has developed, Miv said: "I now and training parents to follow healthy lifestyles for them and their children. I've also created a bespoke weaning course for parents of young babies in order to support them to introduce solid foods.
"The most enjoyable part of my job is the feeling of making a difference to a family's life. Seeing families move on from trauma, making positive changes in their lives or even getting back into work is an amazing feeling. Seeing the positive effect this has on children is just brilliant. I hope to continue working with and supporting families in order to make small differences to their lives."
Under the spotlight:
2006: Completed A levels in Psychology, History, Politics and General Studies, as well as AS Level English Literature.
2009: Began BA (Hons) in Educational Studies and Early Childhood Studies
2012: Graduate with First Class Honours from Cardiff Met
2012: Secured a role with a children's centre in Gloucester and promoted after two months.
Find out more about Educational Studies
at Cardiff Met.