Public Services student Emily Phillips joined HSDC to complete a Certificate in Outdoor Adventure following five years at Horndean Technology College, “I applied for Outdoor Adventure because I grew up doing outdoor sports and I wanted to carry on doing that.”

“At the end of the course, I had a job opportunity in Cornwall, but I wasn’t ready to move away and found that outdoor sports are more of a hobby than a career path. I joined the Public Services course, thinking I wanted to be a medic in the RAF. Since going through the course, I have decided that military service is not for me, but I still want to work in medical services as a paramedic. I cannot apply for jobs as a paramedic directly because I do not have a university degree, so I plan to work my way up and am applying for a dispatcher role.

“Trying loads of different things has helped me decide what I want to do. I am dyslexic, so academics have been challenging, but I get lots of support through the SEN department at HSDC. They were very calm and patient when I was struggling.

“I would encourage students who are interested in an outdoor or public services role to apply to HSDC. The courses have given me a lot of confidence. College is quite a change from school – nerve-wracking and daunting but you meet new people right away, so I would say go for it.”

When asked ‘Why did you choose HSDC, and more specifically Sport and Public Service courses?’ Emily responded that HSDC has the best opportunities for her to develop her knowledge in her chosen career paths. Emily went on to say, “I want to become a paramedic and public services is a fantastic way to see what it would be like to become one.”

Kirsty Harley, Sport and Public Services Lecturer, has known Emily since she joined HSDC. “I’ve known Emily since she joined four years ago from residential trips. She has developed a great deal of confidence through the two courses she has taken.

“Pre-COVID-19, we had guest speakers and former students come in to speak about their roles to help the students get an idea regarding careers. Hopefully, we will be able to do that again soon. Both courses are very practical-based; it’s not about writing essays but rather learning how to lead in different environments.”

As a female in a predominantly male-based course, Emily provided supportive words to female students looking to study Public and Defence Service courses: “Even though you may be nervous because it is daunting and the people can be daunting, just go for it because you won’t regret it.”

We wish Emily the best of luck going forward and look forward to hearing of her great successes with the Ambulance Service.

For more information on our Sport and Public Services courses, visit