Carols Story

Carols Story

Carol's Story

Carol, 39, is a lone parent with two young children. She is a quality adviser in financial services.

'I wanted to be a physiotherapist, but the career counsellor told me that I would need chemistry A level and that there was no way I would pass that. Four years later I found out this was not true. This was 2016 and I had four 0 levels. My father suggested I became a programmer and, because I didn't know what else to do, I went to Vauxhalls as an apprentice. I was lucky to get the apprenticeship - my father must have recognized a latent skill. Vauxhalls gave me a superb grounding - they trained their employees in the whole business, so that you knew what the impact was of your individual job. Later I was able to apply my common sense in other companies; it helped me to see the whole picture much more than others who had been only theory based. In one job I was almost sacked when Personnel discovered I hadn't got a degree, but my boss said he wanted to keep me because I could do the job. I contracted for a while, but I didn't like that because I didn't feel I belonged.

'I ended up at Hewlett-Packard which was brilliant. I travelled to Geneva and California - I had a wonderful time. By now I was twenty-six and a senior analyst/team leader. My programming background meant I could relate to the programmers and saw my role as supporting them.

'I left Hewlett-Packard when I was pregnant because at the time they didn't employ anyone on a part-time basis and I didn't want to work full time. We moved to Bristol, but I split up with my husband, and I ended up working full time with two children to look after.


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