When Victoria Kimani decided to switch careers after taking a break to have her daughter, the idea of returning to education was quite daunting - but a foundation year in business proved to be the perfect choice
Having worked in the financial services industry for several years, and with qualifications from her home country of Kenya, Victoria joined the University of Bedfordshire to study a foundation year in business.
'I chose to do a foundation year because I wanted to familiarise myself with the higher education system before undertaking the degree course,' says Victoria, who's 48 and lives in Hertfordshire.
Having taken five years out from work to care for her daughter, Victoria was understandably worried about returning to education.
'At first I was quite anxious and found it all a bit daunting - I wasn't sure where to start, but our tutors were excellent and guided us through the transition,' she says.
With guidance and support from tutors, Victoria got to grips with higher education and her confidence and academic ability grew. To her relief she did not have to sit any exams as the course was portfolio-based.
'It was a very good experience. I had amazing lecturers, especially tourism management lecturer Katie Lupton, who took time to offer individual tailored support.
'We had classes two days a week, and because we started later in the day, I was still able to take my daughter to school, and I only needed to arrange childcare during the evenings. With the help of friends and family I was able to manage.'
Having successfully completed her foundation year, Victoria plans to return to the University of Bedfordshire to study a degree in human resources.
'I am really excited to start my degree. The foundation year has given me a good starting point and I can now progress with my studies,' she says.