Cara Baker studied Criminology & Criminal Justice and also completed a PGCE

What were you doing before coming to Wrexham University?
I was a single mother and working with young adults who have profound mental health difficulties 
What attracted you to Wrexham University?
It was the location. I was able to continue to work and be a mum whilst giving myself better chances at a well-paid career. 
What was the atmosphere like around campus?
I always found it really friendly. There was plenty going on around the campus to get involved in. I particularly enjoyed the Criminology society events. 
What did you enjoy most about your course?
I loved the psychology unit. It has been one of the most helpful units in terms of my career. Being able to apply theories of behaviour to people has helped me facilitate positive working relationships. 
What was the support like? 
I will forever be grateful to my lectures for the support given, I was able to work around being a mother, and working full time to complete a full-time degree. My dissertation mentor allowed me to bring my son to all my one-to-one sessions and she welcomed him. This made the whole process so much more achievable for me. Without out, I would have dropped out. 
How do you think you have benefited from studying at Wrexham University?
Being at Wrexham gave me the qualifications I needed to apply to the Probation Service. Beyond that, I made real lifelong friends who I am able to collaborate with in my working careers and vice versa. 
How did your time at Wrexham University prepare you for the world of work?
I had a number of opportunities to speak to and question various professionals which gave me a real positive insight into what life inside various criminal justice roles is like. 
What have you done since graduating/what does your current job involve?

After graduating, I went on to complete a PGCE course also at Wrexham. I then joined the National Probation Service as a Trainee Probation Officer. I was based in Colwyn Bay where I trained for 15 months undertaking a Level 5 qualification in Probation Studies as well as a second lower in Community Justice.

I did a Masters in Criminology focusing on the impact of therapeutic alliance and strengths based approaches with sex offenders.

In January 2021 I left the probation service to take up the position of program coordinator and lecturer for Public Services at Coleg Y Rhyl. Here I am responsible for all public services, delivery and compliance learners from level 1 to 3 along with a team of tutors. Here I can make a real difference in the lives of young people. Especially with the group of young people who should be in year 11 but are not at school for various reasons.

What have been your career highlights to date?
Qualifying as Probation Officer was a very proud moment for me. 
How did studying at Wrexham help you?
Without having local access to my undergraduate degree, I would not have been able to progress my career to where I am today. 

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Wrexham University, and why?
I would recommend Wrexham for the sheer support  that its staff put into their learners. It is this human touch that kept me on task which gave me the drive  to complete my course.

If you could sum up your Wrexham experience in a quote, what would it be?
‘Opportunities are for everyone’’


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