To me, the OU sets itself apart from other universities because of the invaluable flexibility it offers, especially the options to defer or change qualification types.
Gimara Duncan-Rice’s portfolio career includes a background in physical and biological sciences, and associated roles (including policy and research). She currently works as a visual artist and teaching artist. The British Red Cross supporter from Stevenage was appointed to the voluntary position of Vice-President for Hertfordshire in 2019.
“To me, the OU sets itself apart from other universities because of the invaluable flexibility it offers, especially the options to defer or change qualification types.
“I started my career as a research scientist in academic settings. By the time I started my OU studies in 2013, I was working as a Scientific Methods and Laboratory Policy advisor. I provided technical input into research being procured and developed, as well as policy and legislation. I also actively participated in technical negotiations, which led to the development of standards at various national, European and international forums.
“The OU’s MSc in Professional Science programme (from which I graduated in 2017) provided me with the opportunity to further add to my scientific knowledge, as well as develop my business management skill set. While my career has shifted towards the Arts, the skills I learnt in business management (I also completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration in 2014) are a highly transferable asset.
“I was inspired by a family member to join the British Red Cross in 2008, to learn basic life-saving skills and to volunteer as a first aider. In my current role as Vice-President, Hertfordshire, I act as an advocate and ambassador for the British Red Cross. I love being able to assist my wider community and I have met some wonderful people along the way. People all over our organisation, from volunteers like me to the top tier, are motivated by kindness, and the wish to help others through tough times. That’s why I’m so proud to be involved.
“The Red Cross works to help people facing crisis all over the world, whether that’s a large-scale international disaster, or an emergency in our local communities in the UK. If your home is flooded or catches fire, you may well meet a Red Cross volunteer in the street outside. If you’ve been in hospital and you’re not quite sure how you’re going to cope at home, you may find a Red Cross team help you get back your independence.
“If you want to learn how to help those around you when they’re hurt or taken ill, the Red Cross can teach you – and offer you an app to help you remember. And for those who have fled to the UK from difficult circumstances and find themselves struggling to survive, the Red Cross refugee services provide emergency supplies and help to improve the situation. We’ve been doing this work for 150 years in the UK.”
In Hertfordshire, the British Red Cross is commemorating its 150th anniversary year with an evening event on Friday 20 November 2020. This will comprise a welcome drink, dinner and wine, speaker, auction and raffle. Tickets are £100 – please register your interest here.