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Simon Goodman

BA Theatre studies and English Literature

Simon Goodman knew that if he wanted to progress in his career that he needed a degree. He began researching different courses and came across Birkbeck. The College’s evening classes were perfect for Simon as they enabled him to continue working full-time so that he could pay his mortgage and continue to have financial stability throughout his studies.

Simon says: ‘Working and studying at the same time was tough at times, but Birkbeck is incredibly accommodating and lecturers are really understanding about the realities of combining work and study. There’s a danger that after a full day at work students arrive to class completely worn out, but the way students and lecturers support each other is fantastic and gives a real energy to the campus.

‘I met so many new friends at Birkbeck, who I will be in contact with for the rest of my life. The students come from diverse backgrounds and age groups. This not only creates a very inclusive atmosphere, it also helps with your study as you are able to see things on the course from many different angles.

‘When I started studying I wasn’t sure exactly what I hoped to achieve at the end, but by my second or third lecture I was so inspired by my Birkbeck lecturers that I realised that I actually wanted to become a lecturer and inspire others. I quickly came up with a ten year plan and have now completed stage one – getting my Bachelor’s degree. I now intend to go on to do a part-time Master’s at Birkbeck and then a PhD. In the meantime I have got a lecturing job in a further education college, which will give me the basis for my future career.

‘My experience at Birkbeck has totally changed the way I perceive myself and helped me grow as a person. In meetings I feel I’ve become more eloquent in being able to put ideas forward and make my point of view heard in a way that sounds more educated. I can’t even remember who I was before!

‘I never previously had the confidence to think that I could do a degree, but as I went through the course I saw the amount of work I was putting in and the return that I was getting and that made me want to work harder and harder. I passed with first class honours.

‘I was so inspired to see people of all ages and from such different backgrounds learning together and benefiting from it that I want to be able to offer that to others. I’m now on my way to achieving that.’

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'The way students and lecturers support each other is fantastic and gives a real energy to the campus.'