February 24, 2020

Jade Header

Hi, I’m Jade and I study Environmental Health BSc (Hons) at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

When I tell people that I study Environmental Health they think I just work with food and issue those “green sticky” numbers you put on take away windows, but it is so much more than that. The field covers so many different areas. From food, housing, health and safety, public health and occupational health. All these areas that effect our everyday lives. I for one have always taken an interest in environmental health, so I thought, hey! Why not look at turning my interest into a career.

So, let’s rewind back to 2017, if you had asked me then if I could ever see myself studying at university, I would have told you, definitely not. I completed high school with GCSEs and A Levels, but I was given the opportunity of a full-time job instead of furthering my education. Now it’s been fourteen years since I left school and I am finally back within the learning environment, which is one thing I never thought I would be able to do if it was not for Cardiff Met.

When I was approaching my thirties, I knew I wanted to do something with my career other than working in retail, but as a mother of two I never would have thought I would be able to balance motherhood, working and completing a university degree. I contacted the Cardiff Met Widening Access team, who specialise in helping individuals return to education after a prolonged period. The next thing I knew I was attending a psychology course within the community. This gave me the credits I needed to enrol on the university’s foundation year, along with three years environmental health.

As part of the House module we attended a building site to follow the development of the build itself. Field trips also includes a visit to the Welsh National history Museum at St Fagan’s to learn about the different eras of housing and development through the ages.

Since completing the foundation and starting the Environmental Health degree, I have been blown away by the variation of new skills I have developed already. I am currently five months into the first year and I have hit the ground running. Not only have I learnt about climate change, public health issues and food hygiene, I spend Tuesday mornings in the university labs, observing different variations and growth patterns of bacteria found within food contamination, as well as creating my own samples, and yes, it is as cool as it sounds. 

There are so many different career paths available from this degree and I cannot wait to see where this takes me, my knowledge is expanding every single lecture and each module is even more exciting than the last, and if I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self when I was leaving school just to bite the bullet. Follow that passion that you have for something because you may find out it is a lot more exciting and not as scary as you may think.