Case study

Client adviser — David Garner

David's education studies degree led to a job with Migrant Help, a charity that provides advice and guidance to asylum seekers who have recently arrived in the UK

What degree did you study?

I graduated from the University of Derby with a BA (Hons) Education Studies degree with optional TESOL pathway in July 2022.

What made you want to work for Migrant Help?

The experiences I gained through my TESOL placement, voluntary opportunities from the course and some of the degree modules helped to craft and develop my passion to help individuals who have chosen to travel to the UK for a better life.

My teaching placement gave me first-hand experience of working with adult ESOL students, many of whom had been through the asylum process themselves. Hearing their stories and receiving their gratitude really inspired me to want to work with these people in my career.

How relevant is your degree?

Although the degree is specifically focused on education, the optional modules you can choose in your second and third years allows you to mould your own pathway and build upon any sparks of interest you develop in your first year.

This was one of the predominant reasons for me choosing this course as it gave me other avenues to explore in the field of education, rather than solely focusing on teaching.

The TESOL pathway in particular taught me how to communicate with individuals where English is not their mother tongue. I have found this of paramount importance in my role as I have to portray important information in a way that is comprehensible to people from a variety of backgrounds.

What's a typical working day like?

A typical day at Migrant Help involves me speaking to asylum seekers, either on the phone or at our face-to-face Q&A sessions, and offering advice to their queries, signposting them to other relevant organisations, or helping them to complete application forms in order to receive the support the Home Office offers them.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The thing I enjoy the most about my work is the fact that I am making a difference to these people's lives. As difficult as it can be at times, particularly hearing the stories many have to tell about their experiences either at home or travelling to the UK, the most gratifying aspect for me is a simple 'thank you' at the end of each call/meeting. As well as knowing that I have given that individual some hope, even if just for a short period.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

In five years, I would hope to have progressed into a management role within my current company, or at least within the same sector, or if not, have chosen to further my education with a Masters degree.

What advice can you give to others?

  • Have an open mind.
  • Don't be afraid to challenge the status quo within the field.
  • Always accept any opportunities with open arms, you never know where they may lead in the future.

Find out more

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