Dorian Ogunro
Access to Social Science and Business Studies
I left high school after sixth year aged 17 years, with loose ideas of going to university but no real interest in doing so and no real plan of what I wanted to do next. Over the next 8 years I worked in various jobs, tried a few college courses, went travelling etc. Tried little bits of lots of things but nothing vocational or sustainable enough to keep my focus.

I was inspired to go back to education when I was around 25 by a group of friends I spent a lot of time around and who were all studying for post graduate degrees. It opened my eyes to subjects I had not really considered before and sparked an interest/desire to find out more.

I applied to do the SWAP Access to Social Science and Business Studies Course at Stevenson College. It was a fantastic experience that has completely changed my life. The course was full of people of all ages from different backgrounds, circumstances and challenges who all mixed well and supported each other along the way. Learning about a range of interesting subjects from Politics to Social Care to I.T. On top of that the constant support and guidance from the tutors and from former students who had previously been on the course was invaluable in helping everyone to their goals. I really enjoyed the Politics and Sociology classes and I applied to Edinburgh University to study Politics.  

I thought that as I already lived in Edinburgh and had a long standing network of family and friends, I would just go to University, study, go home and get on with my life. I quickly found out that this was impossible! Surrounded by so many different people, new ideas, and infinite opportunities I became fully immersed in the wonderful experience of student life. I took on new subjects, joined the Edinburgh University Association Football Club and made new friends that I’ll have for life.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. The balance of studying, keeping a part time job, playing football and training four times a week and maintaining a social life was sometimes very difficult. But on your way to gaining your degree you develop so many different formal and informal support networks that you find a way.  

After an incredibly rewarding and sometimes very difficult four years I graduated with an MA in Politics. I went on to work in Technical Support in a large retail business. Alongside that I continued to coach within the football club for seven years until I became Head Coach four years ago. If I hadn’t chosen to go on the Access course none of these things would have been possible.

I would advise anyone considering a return to education to just do it. The access courses are the perfect environment to find out more about who you are and what you want to do with your life, amongst other people just like you. Whether you go on to study further or go into employment the SWAP Programme will change your life!
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