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Alumni stories

Staff profile
Katie Simpson

Katie Simpson

Head of Partnership Development, Faculty of Education and Theology, York St John University




What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity University?

Leeds Trinity was a small contained campus and compared to others it felt like it had a real sense of community. My course offered work placements and I felt this was beneficial for future employability. The University had a great reputation for media and the facilities and support available outshone other institutions. 

What are your best memories from your time here?

The best thing was making amazing friendships. I still see the girls that I lived with and we have some fantastic memories from our time at Leeds Trinity. As well as studying the subjects that I loved, living close to Leeds city centre was a great experience. 

What three words would you use to describe Leeds Trinity?

Community, friendship and support.

How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?

I think it gave me a good grounding. The skills I gained were really useful and transferrable. I undertook two placements and these helped me to decide what sort of career I wanted to pursue.

Tell us about your career history and current role.

I started my career as a Connexions Personal Advisor, I then went on to managing multi-agency Youth Service Teams and then worked with refugees as a Development Officer for English for Speakers of Other Languages and Family Learning.

I joined the Faculty of Education and Theology, York St John University, in March 2009, having spent several years working for local authorities and the voluntary sector in Children and Young People's services in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

My role at York St John University is to create and develop partnerships with a range of organisations. This includes other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), local authorities, communities, faiths and voluntary groups. I work closely with organisations to facilitate the development of new accreditation opportunities, new modules and bidding opportunities. I am also involved in developing Widening Participation initiatives across the faculty, including short courses and taster sessions in the community.

I teach on the Foundation Certificate in Trauma and Attachment for Foster Carers. I love being in a Higher Education environment and that I get an opportunity to learn something new every day.

I also have a Master's degree in Educational Improvement, Development and Change, York St John University, 2012. In 2013, I became an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

What advice would you give current students/recent graduates embarking on a similar career path?

Your career path might not have a straight trajectory immediately away but be patient. Gain as much experience as possible, try to make good contacts and be willing to work hard to get to where you want to be.