Rachel Newman

At school I lingered behind in Maths and Science but excelled in English due to my love of reading. I got by with good GCSEs and was lucky enough to achieve A-level results that got me into my first-choice university – Liverpool John Moore’s.

From 2003 -2006 I enjoyed every minute of studying my degree and of course, revelled in the fact that the majority of the work I had on my to do list was read novels!

Whilst studying for my degree in English Literature, I worked as a Customer Service Advisor at Littlewoods Crosby branch. My time at Littlewoods built up my confidence and developed my rapport building skills. Once I had graduated in 2006, I was lucky enough to secure a position at Arvato, working on the ‘Microsoft’ contract at the prestigious Cunard Building (one of the ‘Three Graces’) in Liverpool City Centre. My initial role was that of Customer Service Advisor and I was quickly promoted to Quality Manager working for the Training and Development team. The skills and experiences shared during this role were so valuable to me. I frequently liaised with our US management team and the responsibility of being chosen to represent Microsoft UK at that level encouraged me to build upon my skills and gave me the confidence to apply for my next role as ‘Fan Experience Coordinator’ at Liverpool Football Club (LFC).

I worked at LFC for over 9 years. Within my time at the Club I supported with the coordination of a new main stand, the addition of a Family Park and introduced initiatives to enhance the overall match day. I worked closely to bring departments together, address quality issues and continuously improve the Fan Experience which resulted in the club achieving the prestigious ‘Visit Football Club of the Year’ award. During my time at LFC, I also had two children and after my second child was born in 2017, I made the tough decision to not return.

In 2018, fresh from maternity leave (two children under four!) and with a passion to return back to ‘the working life’, I applied for an Officer role at Open Awards. The world of Education was new to me but it soon became apparent that my transferable skills from previous roles would support me in making my role and place in this sector a success. Having worked on Open Awards ‘Access to HE’ provision for just over a year, I was promoted to ‘Business Development Manager (Access to HE). This new role gives me the freedom to explore how we can work with existing providers and expand their offering whilst looking to engage with new centres who are looking to deliver the Access diploma. Recently I have worked with online providers and SEND schools to see how we can enhance their learners’ lives with this qualification.

My positive outlook on life helps me to work well with providers, Higher Education Institutions, tutors, quality moderators and folk from all over the world of education in order to enhance our offering at Open Awards and continue to change lives through learning. I’m extremely lucky to be able to work with our colleges and schools and see first-hand how our qualifications can change the direction of a learner. This is the most rewarding element of my role and I am currently working on a mini internal project which encourages our members of staff to get out there and meet the learners, so they too, can see how they play a part in changing someone’s life.