Health & Social Sector Leadership Graduate
Ellyn joined the MA Health & Social Sector Leadership programme in 2011. Originally from the area, Ellyn was keen to seize the opportunity to study at a prestigious Russell Group University right on her doorstep in Dumfries and Galloway. She is now a Benefits Maximisation and Financial Assessment Officer with Dumfries & Galloway Council, supporting the community and ensuring people are able to claim the funding and benefits they are entitled to.
“Being from the region, I was delighted that I was able to study at such a renowned University without having to leave my home life. There’s a lovely atmosphere at the campus in Dumfries; I got to know everyone on my programme so well and made life-long friends and connections.”
Throughout her time at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Ellyn studied courses such as Human Nature and Wellbeing, Issues in Contemporary Society, Health Policy and Practice, and Research Methods for the Social Sciences. She took the opportunity to go on placement with the Dumfries and Galloway Council Sport and Leisure Team, which gave her hands-on experience in a number of departments.
“My placement meant I got to work with the Active Schools programme, as well as after-school clubs, curriculum sports, and disability focussed sports taster sessions. It opened my eyes to all of the possibilities out there, and I had some amazing experiences.”
This programme offers students the opportunity to lead on a research project in their 4th year of study.
“My favourite part of the programme was the final year Honours Research Project. It gave me experience of real working practices and the working world, and I was able to really take ownership of the project. Scoping out interviewees and case studies, organising meetings and sessions; everything was directed by me, and it was very empowering. I really enjoyed it, it completely rounds off your whole experience of the programme and brings together everything you’ve learnt over the past few years.”
Following graduation, Ellyn secured a position within the Dumfries and Galloway Council Graduate Scheme, working with the Health & Social Care Integration Programme through the NHS and Council Communications Teams.
“For me, the Graduate Scheme was a fantastic opportunity and gave me insight into so many departments and job opportunities. I was able to develop my skills even further, and the confidence and knowledge I brought with me from my time on placement meant I was at a real advantage from the beginning.”
Ellyn has been able to explore a variety of careers and job sectors thanks to her degree. She has worked as a Civil Celebrant, making best use of the communication and leadership skills she built throughout the programme. Alongside this, Ellyn joined DGTAP, a local employability service, as an Employability Link Worker, supporting vulnerable adults and young people into long-term and sustainable education, training and employment, using her skills and knowledge of health and social factors that our most vulnerable in society face.
“This programme offers so many opportunities for different jobs and sectors. I feel like it really set me up with such a strong foundation of skills and knowledge, and also the confidence to explore new challenges and to be bold in the decisions I make.”
Watch our interview with Ellyn below, and find out why she feels the Health & Social Sector Leadership programme was right for her, and how it helped her build the skills, confidence, and experience necessary to make a real difference in people’s lives.