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Dr Nicole Woodford

Company Director - Larkin Tutors

Like many, I left school feeling unsure about my options. All I knew was that I enjoyed studying and wanted to continue in education for at least a couple more years. At only 16, it can be difficult to leave your comfort zone. However, having visited Franklin College on an open day, I was left in no doubt that this was the right college for me to study at, particularly owing to its friendly atmosphere and outstanding quality of teaching. As I was unsure about what to study I was offered some taster sessions, which helped me to decide to choose law, English language, and fine art.

I have really fond memories of Franklin. I made great friends, enjoyed studying, felt inspired by the teachers, and learnt a huge amount on the courses. I was encouraged and pushed to work as hard as possible, which shouldn’t be undervalued. Poor teaching not only affects your happiness, but also your grades. I left Franklin with 4 A’s at A level, which were the highest grades that could be achieved at the time.

As I was still undecided about what to do next, I took a couple of years out to work. I used this time to deliberate about whether to apply for Oxbridge to study a subject that would more clearly lead me into an established career, or whether to study a subject I felt passionate about at an institution where I felt comfortable. In the end, I chose the latter and studied philosophy at the University of Hull. My only regret is that I didn’t trust my instincts earlier. My degree has shaped me to be the person I am today and, after 9 years of study, I graduated with a First Class BA (hons) degree and a PhD.

Whilst I was studying at university I returned to Franklin, but this time in the capacity of a support tutor helping to teach English, IT, and employability skills to adult learners. I also studied for an Advanced ECDL, which equipped me with the computer skills that helped me throughout my doctorate. It was great to see that Franklin offers a variety of courses to suit a range of people. I also saw how much effort and passion the teachers put into their classes, which reaffirmed the positive experiences I had as a student.

My time tutoring at Franklin and at the University of Hull inspired me to co-found my own tuition company. ‘Larkin Tutors’ offers proofreading and private academic writing tuition by PhD qualified tutors. Thus, nearly 13 years since beginning my A Levels, I have achieved my ambition to hold a PhD and be a company director. Although stressful at times, I’ve enjoyed every minute of my journey and credit much of my academic success to the skills I learnt whilst at Franklin. I’m very proud to be an alumna of what was, and continues to be, a wonderful college.

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