Jade’s BMet Experience
Meet Jade Hibbert
A former BMet Higher Education Sport and Exercise Science student, who now works for the police!
Jade started her course at Sutton Coldfield College in 2011, which was the beginning of her exciting career journey. We asked her a few questions to explore her experiences during and since leaving college…
- Hi Jade. Tell us a bit more about your BMet course.
I studied a Foundation Degree in Sport and Exercise Science through the University of Wolverhampton at BMet. I then went on to do my top up third year at the university and following this, I completed a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) within education studies at the university.
- Why did you choose to study the course?
I chose to study the course because at the time, I wanted to become a sports lecturer within the further education setting. I particularly wanted to work with young people aged 14 plus. This is because I truly believe that sport can be used as a vehicle of positive change and influence for them.
All the different elements of the course were very interesting and I was also drawn to it, because it wasn’t all theory based.
- How have you found your time at BMet and did it cater to your needs?
My time at BMet was phenomenal. As students, we were treated as adults from day one. I was always spoken to by all members of staff throughout the college with respect and dignity.
The sports staff within BMet were positive, supportive and encouraging to our development and achievements as students. In fact, they became role models to me to learn from.
BMet catered to all my needs as a student throughout my time there and if there was ever a problem, the college created a “the door is always open” environment.
- What do you think of the support that you have received at BMet?
The support I received was second to none. The staff I engaged with could not have done enough for me to help me, through my time at the college. They were attentive, trusting, really cared and it wasn’t just a job for them.
So many of the staff I engaged with made me believe that I could also be a role model for other young people and I will be forever grateful to those staff members.
- What have you particularly enjoyed during your time at BMet and what are your best experiences?
I very much enjoyed the practical lessons within my sports course. We took part in so many different types of sports and experienced so many different types of learning. Plus, being able to use the sports and gym equipment was so great, as it is of a high standard and top of the range.
The college also allowed me to understand the principles around the human body, its anatomy and physiology elements, which I particularly valued.
One of my best experiences was being able to be part of sports teams within the college like the netball team. Being able to train and play with other students, was a great way to make new friendships and increased my confidence overall.
- What did you do after completing your course?
After finishing my degree at the university, I went on to be a newly qualified teacher in a pupil referral unit – supporting and educating some of the communities most vulnerable young people. Within this remit, I was also the sports coordinator for the unit, which allowed me to create opportunities for the students through sport – working towards developing the student’s confidence and communication skills. This is something that BMet worked so hard to enhance within me as a student. In fact, I really do not feel I would have had the skills to do this job if it wasn’t for my experiences at BMet.
From there, I went on to be the Education and Child Protection Lead within Shrewsbury Town Football Club. This was a huge responsibility, but one I undertook with great pride, as I really wanted to make sure that the young people who attended the football club could feel safe – just like how I was made to feel by the staff at BMet.
I then joined West Mercia Police, as I wanted to continue helping and supporting the community. I also wanted to further use my knowledge and skills to ensure our communities most vulnerable were provided with safety and reassurance.
- Tell us a bit more about your current role…
I now work for West Midlands Police within the office of the PCC and the Violence Reduction Unit, as their Exploitation Lead. My role is to ensure that there are robust and effective systems in place across the West Midlands Metropolitan Area to prevent, identify and respond to exploitation.
I also facilitate opportunities to influence the development of regional pathways, policies and protocols to ensure a coherent and consistent response to safeguarding those most at risk. A main part of my role is acting as a bridge between violence reduction activity and wider activity to reduce exploitation – particularly in relation to violence linked to criminal exploitation.
- How do you feel that your BMet experience has particularly prepared you for your current role?
My experience at BMet has provided me with transferable skills such as open-mindedness, resilience, assertiveness, abilities to handle responsibility and abilities to remain calm in challenging or dangerous situations. In addition, I have gained good interpersonal skills and communication skills that are invaluable within policing.
Also, through the sports course, I was able to create and maintain a high level of health and fitness, which built the foundations needed to accomplish my goals within the police force.
Plus, my time at the college and the experiences open to me within my course, helped me develop the mental ability needed to deal with challenging situations.
Having supportive staff around me empowered me in general to achieve my goals and flourish within my dream career.
- What would you say has been your favourite achievements/memories to date?
I left my secondary school with no GCSE’s due to my own failures and I am now the only person in my family to have a full degree.
Now if you said to me at 16 years of age with no GCSE’s and no aspirations in life to be anything successful, that I would now be (at nearly 30 years of age) leading the whole of the West Midlands in its response to tackling child exploitation and wider abuse, I wouldn’t have believed you – ever!.
I am proud of the fact that at my age, I have my own house and mortgage, I have my own 69 plate BMW car and I have a full time job with very little financial worries. Now you may think that I am showing off by saying this…but it literally means the world to me that I can be totally dependent on me due to my education, professional achievements and through sheer hard work and commitment.
- What advice would you give to other students wanting to attend BMet? Or who are currently here?
Take the opportunity to be a part of such a sensational college – working with staff who genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. The support you will receive as a student is outstanding.
The advice I would give to any young person who is planning to attend college, is make sure that the college you are planning to attend is your choice. You need to be 100% dedicated to the decision to make the most out of this time, as it really will set you up for your future and career options.
I would also recommend that people step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves to be the best they can be and to achieve the things they desire…and BMet will support you the whole way.