During my time at university I found my passion for languages and this was only highlighted to me when the university let me change courses

Faridah Salami
Faridah Salami
MFL Teacher Trainee
BA Modern Languages & Cultures
Faridah studied Spanish on her undergraduate degree and is now an MFL teacher trainee.
Faridah Salami

Please summarise your overall career since graduation, but in particular, what was your first relevant role to the area in which you work now and how did you secure that position?

During my final year, I decided I would like to teach, so I began applying to different training programmes including UCAS. I stumbled upon TeachFirst which seemed to have everything I was looking for in their training programme. I went through a rigorous application process and was thankfully offered a place soon after. The training came with a lot of pre-work and I have now started the course and am looking forward to getting my own class in September

How has your qualification helped you in your career?

Of course studying Spanish gave me the advantage that I needed to show I could teach MFL, however the extra modules on the course such as the history and literature gave me a deeper knowledge that I was able to use to explain why learning a language is such a great skill.

Which modules did you enjoy the most and why?

My favourite module would have to be the linguistics module with Paul O’Neil. I enjoyed learning the derivatives of the language and the history of it. It was also very interesting to understand how the language migrated through different countries.

What advice would you give to current students who are interested in pursuing a career in your field?

Do your research into the different avenues to get into this field, there are many different opportunities available. Apply to the programmes that you think will suit you best, if you are more practical you may want to go through a placement training, or if you prefer the support of a university you may want to go back into studying. Don’t over think it, the idea of going into teaching can be scary but the reward outweighs that, so if you have a passion for it but feel fearful, just go for it. You have more skills than you realise. Through your time at university you will have picked up so many skills that you will be able to apply in this field, and you will be far more equipped than you initially thought.

What were your previous academic qualifications?

GCSE, IGCSE, A-LEVELS, BA HONOURS

What were your career aspirations when you were younger?

Tech, I always thought that I would end up in technology and artificial intelligence.

What impact has attending University had on you?

Going to university has made a more confident person, it has also provided me with a lot of new skills. During my time at university I found my passion for languages and this was only highlighted to me when the university let me change courses. Speaking of which, since then I have adopted the ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ mentality. When I decided to change courses I thought, “they are going to think you’re indecisive and impulsive, they won’t take you seriously”, and this couldn’t have been further from the reality. Attending university has also made me more outspoken and open to meeting new people. It has also expanded my view on people from different walks of life.

What advice would you give to young people considering University?

It’s honestly one of the best things you can do. Not only academically but socially. University allows you to meet all kinds of people and develop different types of relationships. It also provides you with so many key skills such as public speaking, leadership, critical thinking, communication, confidence and so much more. University also increases your independence and forces you to rely on yourself. Sheffield also have a great support network so you’ll never feel alone. Academically, there are so many avenues you could go down, so many options of what to study, and once you pick your course there are always extra curricular societies and activities to get involved in.

Why did you choose Sheffield? / What sets Sheffield apart from other Universities?

It is a prestigious university that I knew would be recognised by employers in the future. I also was intrigued by the student union and liked how accessible the campus was.

What other elements of University life/extra-curricular activities helped you to achieve success?

Joining different societies allowed me to explore my interests and take on responsibility when I became part of the committee.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Sheffield?

My course, specifically modules with lecturers who were passionate about what they were teaching, such as Sonia and Carmen. Meeting my friends who are now essential people in my life. Living away from home which provided me with so much independence and allowed me to mature quickly. Having such quick and accessible support.

Why would you recommend the University of Sheffield as a good place to study?

The lectures are truly amazing and only want the best for you. They are interested in your progress and are always available to talk and help you further. The campus is great and has a real university feel. Studying in the diamond or IC, you are bound to walk into a friend or course mate. Social life is great. Sheffield is a beautiful city and there is so much to explore.

In one sentence, how would you describe the impact Sheffield had on your career and life after University?

The University of Sheffield encouraged me to believe that I truly am capable of success and excellence, and that if I really want to achieve something, all I have to do is go for it.

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