Posted on 02 August 2011
Adult learning gave Amanda Smith of Ash Vale a racing lead when she decided to turn her love of horses into a new career.
Speaking in Adult Learners Week (May 14 to 20), the former civil servant who now has an exciting job as race administrator with the Arabian Racing Organisation says that when she decided to change career at 26 she was worried that she had left it too late to go back into education. “I was reassured when I looked at the Merrist Wood College website - it seemed very welcoming to mature students,” she said. “After looking round the campus, seeing the excellent facilities and meeting the staff I decided to apply for the Equine Management HND.”
The course exceeded Amanda’s expectations and she is one of very few students in the history of the course to have achieved straight distinctions in every unit, including her dissertation, despite breaking an ankle which prevented her riding and taking part in practical sessions for some time. She was also named Equine Management Graduate of the Year at the College’s graduation and awards ceremony.
“The quality of teaching, wide variety of horses and facilities at Merrist Wood are second to none,” Amanda said. “I really enjoyed the variety of subjects, especially the scientific elements. The work experience modules definitely helped me focus on my future career and I made some very valuable contacts within the racing industry. This helped me no end when I was looking for work after completing my course. I am certainly using knowledge gained from my studies every day.”