Sulbia Khanam-Quddus is a law tutor at Oldham College, in North West England. Originally a commercial litigator, she made the change into teaching six years ago.
Please can you tell us a little bit about your current role in FE?
I’m a part time tutor at Oldham College, and I teach the Law Academy learning programme, which provides students with work experience, mentoring opportunities and employability skills as well as a good grounding in legal practice.
What are your key interests?
I am passionate about the future success of students at Oldham College. Therefore learning about new developments within the legal sector, and teaching this subject to students is my main interest.
Do you have any other roles or responsibilities?
I mentor students and help them towards their future career aspirations of employment, apprenticeships or Higher Education.
How did you get into teaching? What prompted your decision to move into FE?
Growing up in Oldham, I wanted to show students that they could and should aim high. I wanted to say “If I did it, you can too!”. I have previously worked for one of the biggest law firms in the country, and I wanted to be a role model for young people at the college.
I started my career by running workshops at a local FE institution, and after a couple of years I moved on to work at Oldham College, where I completed my PGCE and I have been teaching here for four years.
How do you find the FE sector?
Oldham College is all about the students and what’s best for them. Personally this is what motivates me to do my job.
How does FE teaching differ from other roles/experiences you have had?
It’s a challenging role but I really enjoy it. As a tutor, I’m managing student expectations, so my role is to nurture, motivate and increase their confidence. Students don’t always see their potential especially so it is really important for me to provide them with the best learning experience possible.
How has working in FE helped your career?
I’m lucky to have a qualified teacher status. Teaching has equipped me with so many skills, in particular soft skills, such as supporting different types of people and vulnerable students. I definitely have more job satisfaction in this career.
What have you enjoyed most about your job in FE?
Again, it’s working with students! I invest a lot in time with them and aim to inspire them. I believe that with the right support each student can thrive and achieve. I’m still in touch with past students and it’s great to hear about how they’re progressing at university and highly skilled careers.
Have you got any advice for other academics/professionals interested in FE?
Hard work pays off!
What are the top three reasons you choose to work for your current institution?
- I’m contributing to the development and growth of my local area
- Oldham College provides a technical and professional education that prepares students for well paid, high skilled careers
- My colleagues! They are a fantastic team with a real passion for teaching.