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Amy Carpenter

Faces of Suffolk

Amy Carpenter

I guess you could say I’m not your stereotypical careers adviser. I started speedway racing when I was 8 years old; my dad bought my first junior bike. I was the Ipswich mascot for a few years and we would go to Wimbledon every Wednesday evening so I could ride before and after the meeting there. I’d literally be sat doing my homework in the stands.

When I was 15, I became the first girl to ride in a British speedway championship! I got to ride in places like the Isle of Wight and Plymouth and I loved it. As I got older, I started working weekends, which put a limit on how much I could ride. However, there are rumours of me making a comeback this summer! The female speedway scene has started to pick up, which is awesome to see.

During school, I had always wanted to be a maths teacher. I loved maths and was an A star student, but I started my A Levels and hated it. I quit before the end of the year and my teachers were shocked. They told me I would be wasting my life if I didn’t go to university.

At the time, I didn’t want to go to university. So I went to work in WHSmith and found a passion for retail; business really fascinated me and I loved the interaction with people. I decided to go to college to study Business – that’s when I thought, I love this. I could go to university. So I started studying business here and undertook an internship at Willis in their education liaison team. That’s when I realised I loved working with and helping students.

My experience of careers advice at school was less than positive. The message was always that university is the end goal, not where it can lead or what other opportunities there are. I just thought, I don’t want other people to have the same experience. Then my dream job came up here in the Careers team. I’ve been here almost 3 years and I'm over halfway through my Masters in Career Coaching. I know this is a field I want to work in for a long time to make a real difference to others.

My one piece of careers advice would be to positively embrace the power of social media and having an online presence. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and never feel pigeonholed into a certain career just because of your degree!