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Opening unexpected doors

Coming from a family of teachers, Bethan wanted to do anything but teach. However, a summer internship in Uganda changed everything.

Bethan worked on a scheme for 17 to 22-year-old students that awarded fully funded scholarships to orphans to go to university in the UK, America or Japan.

The scheme has created some wonderful success stories. “One scholar is doing biomedical sciences and has just proposed a plan to the British Council about how plastic surgery can help burns victims in her home country,” Bethan reveals.

Alongside her Sociology studies at Manchester, Bethan signed up to be a PASS leader, assisting her fellow students. This encouraged her to work towards the Stellify Award, completing further activities such as volunteering with the Pankhurst Trust and Centre, Oxfam, the British Heart Foundation and Student Action.

“I want to impact people rather than just be a teacher in a classroom,” she explains. “I look back on the teachers in school and university who got me excited about the subject or helped me through difficult times, and I just want to be in that role – or perhaps go into the policy side of it and have more of an influence.”

Having completed her TEFL qualification, Bethan’s next adventure is a three-month placement in Colombia before potentially heading to Spain or China.

“It’s the activities I’ve done as part of Stellify that has made me a candidate for internships,” Bethan reflects. “There are so many jobs I want to go for where I can now tick the boxes because I know I’ve done it.”

Bethan Counsell
Bethan Counsell