A Malvern mother is hoping to inspire other women as she graduates from the University of Worcester.
Esther Partridge-Warner was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and following a mastectomy decided to rethink her work/life balance. Now she graduates from the University – for the second time – after completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching.
“I got married at 20 and went straight from A-levels into work,” she recalls. “I had a baby in 2002 and the company where I was working closed down whilst I was on maternity leave. A friend of mine had recently started a degree at Worcester and so she encouraged me to do the same.”
Esther graduated from the University of Worcester in 2006 with a degree in IT and Education and went on to work in education technology and publishing.
However, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to take another direction with her life.
“I upskilled and began my own business, Online Media Works; working with businesses to maximise their presence on social media,” said the 54-year-old. “In 2017 I saw on LinkedIn that the University’s Business School was looking for hourly paid lecturers and I was successful in my application. I teach Social Media for Business, E-business, and Generation Digital as well as supervising third year student projects.”
Esther then went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning and has since become a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
“I never thought I'd be working in higher education - I didn't really have any idea what to do after my degree, but I thought that a joint degree of IT and Education might be useful in the future,” she said.
“I'm very excited to have achieved a postgraduate certificate and am looking forward to wearing my robes again.”
Esther said she hoped her story would inspire other women who want to make a change later in life.
“I saw a great quote the other day - it said you have 29,000 days on this planet, so make sure you build a life you love and don't waste a single day,” she said. “I very much appreciate the support of the University and hope that I could be an inspiration to other women.”