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Sarah Pasby

Like so many students, Sarah Pasby hadn't figured out exactly what she wanted to do when she left school at 18 years old.

"I had good grades and being a lawyer looked glamourous, so I chose to study Law at Sheffield University," Sarah tells us. "Though I loved university life, Law was definitely not the subject for me!"

Sarah decided to leave her university course in her second year to pursue a pub/restaurant manager career back home. However, after becoming a mum two years later, Sarah had to leave to the pub and says she was itching to challenge herself intellectually.  

"I found myself at home with my first son (living with a baby in a pub didn't quite work out) and wanting to use my brain again! I did some research and found I could use my credits from my previous study towards a part time OU degree in subjects that I love — Business and Economics."

Over the next six years, Sarah studied part-time for her degree while balancing busy family and work commitments. Despite having so much on, Sarah was grateful for the flexibility — especially when she had her second son part-way through her course. 

"I loved being able to study from home and work around my family and work commitments (part-time bar work) whilst completing my degree. It was great to also get some face to face interaction at the regular tutorials and even at exams!"

The OU has changed my life! It gave me the opportunity to study the subjects I really love and access to my current career."

In 2014, Sarah completed her BA Business with Economics — graduating with First-Class Honours.   

"Completing my degree allowed me to apply for the Marketing Graduate scheme at Jet2holidays & I was lucky enough to be one of the first graduates here and four and a half years on I've progressed and am now a Senior Partnerships Executive in the Advertising and Partnerships team. The OU gave me access to this career whilst allowing me to have my children and support my family by working part time."

When looking back, Sarah says that the decision to study all those years ago has definitely changed her life and led her to a career she loves.