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Return to education changes Birmingham student’s perspective on life and herself, and makes family proud

By Ella Staden
Friday, June 24, 2022

15 years after leaving school, sporty mother of two and aspiring model Sherrell Dillion was inspired to take up Higher Education by her daughter, who had no idea what her actions would begin…

After a long period of difficult circumstances at home, Sherrell reflects: “What actually led me to university was my daughter. She came up to me one day holding a certificate she had made for me for being an amazing mum. She’d wrapped it into a scroll like a proper diploma, and I just thought to myself, ‘I want one of these in real life’. I realised I needed to change my life in order to change my story.”

Sherrell enrolled on the BA Leadership and Management Skills for the Workplace course at UWTSD’s Birmingham campus. “I always seemed to take on leadership roles in whatever job I was doing,” she continues. “Not only that, but I had started an online business that wasn't going very well, so I thought ‘why not go to university and try a course for one year and see how that goes?’

“My aim was just to see if I had it in me to do university work, and to be able to pass my assignments with some understanding of business management. But mostly it was to show my children that no matter what you go through in life, do not let it define you, and that they must pursue their dreams and goals.”

“I’ve made my family so proud by passing all my assignments at Level 4, and now I can relate what I’ve learnt back to them too, which makes me proud of myself too. I’ve also loved getting dressed and coming to campus, as I’ve not had to get up for school in years! So to come back to university for the first time as a mature student was exciting for me, and I have loved it all.”

Despite the language barrier sometimes challenging her, Sherrell has sought help from University staff and fellow students, and now feels a lot more confident and fully supported in her studies, as well as more adept at research techniques, academic writing and referencing which are skills she knows she can use in further study and later life.

“I’ve overcome challenges by breathing, allowing myself to cry, and just trying to believe in myself a bit more, because I know I can do it – having the confidence to admit that you need help sometimes is also important.”

“I would recommend this course to others especially if business is something that they are interested in, because you get to learn so many methods that are beneficial to a company. It gets you to critically think and analyse each aspect of the business, and then you can also help others with the information and knowledge you’ve gained.”

“Over summer I want to start my business back up and reach towards those goals, and graduating at Level 4 has motivated me to continue this course next year and given me more confidence to apply for leadership roles outside of university. I have plans to start my own modelling business in the near future too, and to also help my children with whatever projects they come up with.”

“This course has definitely helped me professionally and personally: I am applying more critical thinking to my life, I look at things differently, my conversations are different. University has become my first priority; it has pushed me to my limits but it has all been worth it so far, and I cannot wait to graduate and show my kids that I have done it. Anything is possible.”

Further Information

Ella Staden

Swyddog y Wasg a'r Cyfryngau

Press and Media Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

E-bost | Email : ella.staden@uwtsd.ac.uk

Ffôn | Phone : 07384467078