‘I am blessed to have the best of both worlds’: How a busy mother finds balance

Mehnaz Ibrahim-Khan is always moving. When the 34-year-old is not caring for her four children, aged one to 10, she is in one of her two part-time jobs. “As a parent, I’m very used to multitasking and switching from one thing to another,” she says. “The strategy is to be as organized as possible and to plan ahead.”

After graduating with a degree in business management, Ibrahim-Khan got a job as a junior accounts receivable administrator in a security firm. Fast-forward 10 years, and he has worked up to a multifaceted role working in multiple departments. “Since this is a small business, I hope to wear different hats all the time and adapt my skills as the business grows,” he says. “I now manage the entire accounts department, overseeing the accounts receivable and payable accounts, liaising with our accountants. I am in charge of HR and payroll and also help with marketing and sales. “

Ibrahim-Khan’s first experience of post-education (FE) was as a vocational student, and he enjoyed the fact that his teachers were also experts in their field. “What separates FE from school is that you are usually taught by art professionals – who have first-hand experience, skills and knowledge in what their students choose to study. It’s more practical in the sense that teaching in other settings can be very textbook and theoretical. “

So it’s no surprise that after 10 years in the industry, he has decided to do more than he knows by sharing his skills with FE students. Like 46% of FE employees working in colleges, Ibrahim-Khan gives part-time lectures – in his case, in addition to his job in the industry, something that gives him an important edge in his faith. “I like that I can use my knowledge and skills in my teaching role to help my students gain an insight into the world of work,” she says. “I think the real experience is invaluable to me and to them.”

Mehnaz Ibrahim-Khan wrote in a note
Mehnaz Ibrahim-Khan.

Although you do not need any special qualifications to start teaching at FE, Ibrahim-Khan started his journey by studying part-time at PGCE in addition to his part-time job at the security agency and his family responsibilities. Sometimes when his plate felt full, he would remind himself of who he was working so hard for. “My main inspiration is that I want to be a good role model to my children,” she says “My eldest daughter’s bedroom has a white board and a small classroom with imaginary students. She also wants to be a teacher. I like the fact that I can be the one to look out for. “

His hard work paid off. She impressed her tutor so much that they referred her to the business department at Nescott (North East Surrey College of Technology), where she was offered a position as a session teacher in September 2019. Then, in January 2020, he was made permanent. Staff members.

This year, he is teaching an enterprise idea, and the promotion and financing units of personal and business financing. He also led the Center for the Young Enterprise Scheme. “I have won Level 3, 2 Year Student Initiative, Sion, Overall Company of the Year Award and Best E-Advertising Award,” he says proudly. “Being part of the whole learning process, seeing their skills develop and having the opportunity to inspire their thinking, that’s why I came to teaching. It’s an honor to make a positive difference and to be a positive role model that may be missing in their lives. “

Books and a calculator

  • In his industry job, Ibrahim-Khan is in charge of his company’s accounts department, HR and salary.

For Ibrahim-Khan, one of the greatest joys of working at FE is the opportunity to support his students and provide them with life skills when they are ready to leave the world of education and enter the workplace. “Children are able to work when they leave school at age 16, so they should at least understand how a wage slip works,” he says. “My students have chosen to study finance, so they have already invested in the early stages of their careers, but some of them, for example, did not realize that they would have to repay the interest-free overdraft or understand how their peslip was broken. When I see that the light bulb is on and they suddenly get it. “

Indeed, in many ways, he sees his young students as an extension of his family. “I’ve always been a painful aunt to my nieces and nephews, and I love the fact that I’m able to raise my students,” she says. “Some students in my first group never sat for the exam because they were GCSE graded [because of Covid], So they are now sitting for their first finance exam and understandably nervous. As teachers, we all had to adapt to make it as easy as possible for them. “

Two and a half years of his life as a dual professional, Ibrahim-Khan has no regrets. “I like that teaching at FE allows flexibility, which other education settings may not be able to offer,” he says. “Although teaching is a completely different ball game than accounting, teaching at FE combines the two in an inspiring way. I like that I can use my skills and experience to communicate from one industry to another, and no two days are the same. I am blessed to have the best of both worlds. “

Your skills are more valuable than you realize. If you have Relevant work experience in the industry, you can start teaching in FE without any formal educational qualification. To find out how you can make a difference in your life without changing your career, go to read-education-in-further-education.campaign.gov.uk

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