- Certificate in Management Studies
- Masters in Professional Development
- Diploma in TESOL (Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages )
After attending University to study Business Management, which I enjoyed thoroughly, I was offered a place on an ‘Active Learning’ Master’s Degree. This was based on group experiential interchange, where six individuals in different business environments would meet regularly and discuss, question and exchange experiences and problems in their respective industries.
This was under the guidance and direction of a ‘Learning Contract’ that would ensure the various academic requirements for Postgraduate study were met.
I found this method of study to be the best I have ever participated in, I found it beneficial, relevant and a real pleasure. I would strongly support the ‘Active Learning’ as a framework that could be extended to cover many different subjects.
Photography has always been a real passion of mine, from my first Black and White darkroom in a garden shed as an enthusiastic teenager, it has always been my favourite hobby. I photographed my first wedding at the Northampton Registry Office at 14 years old, but that was a very scary experience.
Years later, Photography has become a greater part of my life, with People and Portraits being my preferred areas, but I do enjoy Landscapes and Travel Photography as well.
From Silver Bromide, to the Digital Sensor, box camera to a Nikon D4, Colour or Black and White, Digital or Analogue, Photography continues to be just as magical as the very first plate images.
It never ceases to amaze me, how talented and dedicated some people are. There are so many fields in photography, from Nature, to Sport and from Portrait to Macro, each and every one with its own unique specialist requirements, to capture the perfect image.
“The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it.”
~ Edward Weston ~
A member of the University of Northampton Alumni e-Mentoring scheme. The aim of the mentoring project is to enhance students’ employ-ability skills, enable them to gain a realistic perspective of the workplace, give them experience in networking, and boost their self-esteem and confidence when dealing with professionals.This relationship is built on mutual respect, constructive feedback and a willingness to learn and share.
I find the interaction with the students I mentor to be of great benefit, not only to them, but also to myself. Wherever issues in learning are addressed mutually, the learning is also mutual. Therefore, I feel that the students contribute as much as I do.
As a keen ‘Technophile, I have always been excited at the progress of everything in the ‘information age’ albeit that some of it is rather intrusive.
I have had many online ventures, some succeeded, others did not, but in every case, I learned something which has benefited me in other ways. Along the way, I have had a 'hands-on' education on all aspects of creating a 'Digital Shopfront'
Over the last decade, there have been significant changes in design concept, aesthetics, functionality and marketing, with Social Media making a huge impact on the way brands are promoted online.Skills include:
- Framework & Design
- Creative content
- effective functionality
- Digital Marketing
Personally, I consider the most valuable asset that I have acquired, is the learning that come with all the situations that I have found myself in. In time, I have been able to reflect on everything that went wrong, everything I got wrong and everything that is wrong, allowing me to decipher the causes and effects of my, actions, other people's actions and ultimately, my reactions.
Having grown up to Cypriot born parents, their influence, their aspirations and their cultural mindset that dictated my life throughout my youth, but ultimately, led to decisions I made because of them, despite them or even to spite them, that not only had a profound effect on my life as a young man, but also to this day.
In recent years, the connections that I have made with other people in the same situation, has made me realise that I was not the only one in this position, but on the contrary, I saw a familiar pattern and I was one of many.
I have also found it very interesting, as well as informative to have observed how we have all reacted to cultural pressures in a different manner. People from different walks of life, with different circumstances resulting in different outcomes, but the underlying common denominator remains the same.
In my case, it was not simply about shaking off the cultural influence, but embracing it without allowing it to dictate to me, it is a fine line and it is certainly a very fine line between living one's life by following destiny, or living it by capitulating to cultural pressure.
During my school years, I often struggled to retain information in mainstream education. At that time, there was no facility to assess student's learning styles, or their strengths and weaknesses. It was not until years later that thanks to the information age, I began to realise that the issue was not me, but was in fact the antiquated teaching methods that were applied in schools that did not suit my personal learning style.
From the mid 90s when I had access to the internet and everything that it had to offer, I slowly realised the effect that access to knowledge in a manner that suited me, would have on my life. I can honestly say that I was addicted.....ever since, research and learning has been by far, my greatest pastime.
When I made the decision to go to University as a mature student in 2002, it was an awakening, I not only enjoyed it, I loved it. In fact, it was such a labour of love, that I excelled and was rewarded a year later with a direct place on a Master's degree course.
Although my chosen subject was not vocational it was Master's in Professional Development, this was an academic milestone. This course was not only about professional development, which could be applied, or inspired in others, it was also an experience in my own personal development, which changed my outlook about myself, others and life in general.
I feel that it was the learning style that was the key factor to an 'Action Learning Degree' that made all the difference. Unlike traditional learning, which involves, lectures, research and regurgitation of academic writing, this was based around 'experiential learning' primary data, followed by discussion and interaction. For me, the difference between reciting something I have read, or been told and discussing, analysing and learning from something I had experienced, was huge. It is very sad that there is not more opportunity for this sort of learning. Far too many students are written off with a diagnosis of A.D.D. when they are not to blame.
It is for this reason that I am such an avid supporter of the QCF (The Qualifications and Credit Framework) as opposed to traditional University Degrees, because for many subjects, the learning can be work based, giving students real world experience, along with an upwardly directed career, an income, greater appeal in the employment market because they have been putting their learning in to action and last but not least, they are not saddled with debt!
With photography being a major part of my life, the opportunity to travel with my camera has also played a major role in my life. I have not really had the opportunity to venture far from Europe, but I have certainly made the most of the destinations that I have been able to visit.
One of my favourite methods, is to pack a sleeping bag in my little van, along with my cameras and a camping stove to make coffee. this allows me to travel around and literally pick and choose my route as I go. If I can find somewhere nearby to stay via laterooms.com, then I do, but if I happen to be out driving very late and I spot somewhere that I want to see and capture first thing, I can park up, get some sleep and I am there.
My last trip around Europe this way took in seven countries in seven days! It was amazing, from Dover I got the Ferry to Calais, drove down to Paris, then all the way south to the Mont-Blanc tunnel, then on to Milan, up through Switzerland, through the Gotthard-Strassentunnel, which is 16.9km long! Then on to Strasburg, then on to Luxemburg, from there on to Brussels, which was at night by this time, so I was able to drive around the whole city in peace. From there across to Antwerp, in to the Nederlands, then across to Zeeland, back down through an underpass and on to Zeebrugge, followed by Ostend, Dunkirk and finally back to Calais for the Ferry home.
I would say that this was one of the greatest adventures I have ever had, the thought of sitting around a pool all day long does not appeal to me whatsoever! I have also had similar tours around England, Scotland, Wales and Spain. I am hoping to do another as soon as possible.
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
~Leonardo da Vinci ~