Karen Wickett - Professional Doctorate in Education graduate

Current employer: University of Plymouth

Current job title: Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

Current location: Plymouth

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

Alongside my teaching on the undergraduate Early Childhood Studies degree and postgraduate degrees I have been developing my research career. I have secured some funding to explore early years creativity, continued to develop my research relationship with a Swedish academic colleague and finally I am writing journal articles based on my thesis.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

I am establishing myself as an early career researcher.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

During my EdD my role as a Children’s Centre teacher came to an end. As well as coming to terms with the end of my role and end of my vision to establish a democratic space for children and adults I had to construct my identity as a doctoral student and academic.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

At 35 years old I embarked on the Bachelor of Education which was my first degree at the University of Plymouth. This was a turning point in my life as I loved learning and found out I could succeed at Higher Education. My studies then enabled me to secure the amazing role as the teacher for a Sure Start Local Programme and also encouraged me to continue my academic studies

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

I would not do anything differently. Although when embarking on my first degree I had given up a well-paid job, my home and perks in life to study full time, having time to wallow in my studies was a highlight.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Use the theories you encountered during the degree to consider other ways of working with children and families. Whilst working carry on studying – my studies have supported me to be a reflective, critical and ethical teacher.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

My studies provided me with confidence and enabled me to develop environments for children and adults learning guided by my principles.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

My favourite memory for my first degree is having time to wallow in concepts. For my EdD my favourite memory is graduation but also my nights with my study buddies.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Yes as Plymouth is an inclusive university that builds on peoples’ strengths