Liz McNally, Professional Cookery

Catering dishes

What does Liz think?

If you're considering a Part-Time course but not sure if it's for you, read Liz's story to hear her experience.

Liz McNally, age 54

Professional Cookery, Level 2

"I’m a typical mum, cooking for my family at home, but didn’t have much confidence so wasn’t very adventurous. However as I was given more responsibility at work, I wanted to learn how to do things properly. I wanted to understand what would happen when I tweaked recipes.

I knew to develop this knowledge I would need to go back to college, so I enrolled onto the day release, Professional Cookery course at The College.

"I didn’t think I would enjoy the course as much as I have. I’ve really grown in confidence and wish I’d done it sooner."

I didn’t really know what to expect when I joined, but I knew I was terrified. I didn’t really enjoy school when I was younger, so this was completely taking me out of my comfort zone. But I think I’ve definitely found my passion.

My group are amazing and there’s real mix of ages. The tutors make the learning fun and they’re great at explaining things. One thing I’ve found really beneficial is the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It enables me to access loads of learning resources and videos, so I feel really prepared for my class each week.

Since doing the course, I’ve really grown in confidence and I’m now able to tweak recipes, something I would never have dreamed about a year ago! I think it’s also helped that my family and employer have been supportive too. I’ve been able to test out new recipes and had the confidence to be able to adapt dishes at work and know I’ve made the right choice.

Professional Cookery at The Bournemouth & Poole CollegeI’ve funded the course myself and the flexible payment option has enabled me to spread the cost over a period of time. Even though I’ve funded this course, my employer is now considering funding the next level as they can see the benefits.

Doing this course has never been about progressing my career, it’s been about gaining knowledge and understanding so I am more confident in my job. It’s strange to think that six months ago I was only ever going to do this course, once it was over, it was over. Six months on, I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’m now considering a Level 3.

I’d say to any adult considering going back to education to just try it as it’s not as scary as you think. It’s worked for me and I’ve loved every minute of it. I thought I’d be too old, but I was wrong. I just wish I’d done it sooner, who knows where I’d be now?"