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Claire Tickell

I chose to do Hospitality & Catering as I have loved food and cooking all of my life but have never had any professional training in it. I would love to have my own street food truck and I thought this would be a great place to start my dream.

My working life started in hospitality as a part-time waitress and bartender during my A levels and university life. I’ve always enjoyed interacting with customers and believe a smile goes a long way, especially in this industry. I have worked in post production as a runner, sound syncher and as an edit assistant which was interesting but very different to what I’d done before. 

I moved to New Zealand for a year in 2002 for my husband’s work and trained in silver jewellery making and on return to UK started making and selling my own pieces. Then I became a mother and have been looking after my family for the last 15 years. All through these years I have enjoyed cooking for family and friends and trying out new recipes from my vast collection of cook books. I feel that having a qualification in cookery will give me more confidence in my ability and help me pursue my career. 

I chose to apply to MidKent College because it offered a course that I felt matched my requirements. Also, importantly for me, the campus in Maidstone was near my children’s schools so I would be able to pick them up after easily. 

It’s been great returning to education as an adult despite initial fears about the age gap I would encounter. Although there are very obvious differences in age between myself and most of the other students it has not been a problem and I like to think I’ve been helpful/useful in some respects with my experiences and being around younger people is good for the mind.

I would wholeheartedly recommend studying to anyone of mature years as we’re never too old to learn and knowledge is a powerful tool. I believe that if I had studied this course in my youth I may not have committed myself to it as fully as I have this time around. It is my passion that brought me here and will hopefully get me to where I want to be. 

I believe that studying this course at MidKent College will give me the confidence that I’m lacking and a chance for professional tutors to give me feedback and introduce me to the many techniques that I have never tried before. I think it will open me up to a whole new world of possibilities and provide me with the skills to do something for myself after many years of focusing on being a parent.