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“ yexperienceofdoingaFoundationdegree
Jan Maiden left school at 16 with a few
O-levels and wanted to go on to further
education but family circumstances ruled
this out - she even had to give up her place
which had been secured on a BTEC Business
studies course. Consequently, she went on to
join a YTS scheme which led to her spending
several years in secretarial and administrative
posts. Later, she moved on to work within the
NHS where she took on a number of roles
including Medical Secretary, PA and Project
Support Co-ordinator at Central Manchester
and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals
As she took on more responsibility, she found herself looking
for further challenges and realised at this stage that if she
was to progress, she would need to acquire additional

Fortunately, Jan was then offered a promotion to the post of
Project Co-Ordinator at Nowgen, Manchester, a role which
offered the opportunity for study that Jan had been looking
for. Nowgen is a centre of expertise in genetics in healthcare
which sets out to inform and improve the practice of genetic

                                                                 Jan Maiden, Project Co-Ordinator, Nowgen
Jan had been considering higher education for a while when
a local flyer on a Foundation degree in Business Management
came through the door. She was delighted to see that her         Once Jan had completed her Foundation degree, she decided
work experience to date qualified her for the course being       to continue to study and went on to complete a BA Honours
advertised.                                                      degree graduating with a First in July 2007. Jan sums up
                                                                 by saying :
Jan took up the opportunity and enrolled on the Foundation
degree course at Macclesfield College. She had the full          “The ‘foundation’ in Foundation degree means exactly
support of Nowgen’s Director because her study was so            what it says – it gave me an excellent foundation to
relevant to the work she was doing and she would only need       go on to further study.”
to be away from the office for one afternoon a week.
                                                                 She believes the quality of the education received on the
Jan says : “The Foundation degree has affected my                course went a long way to helping her achieve a First.
life in a number of ways. Financially, it has made a
big difference, my salary has risen by over 20% in four          Since qualifying, Jan has been promoted to a managerial
years and I am now on a pay scale that offers the                position at Nowgen, with operational responsibility for the
                                                                 future day-to-day running of the Nowgen Centre. As for the
potential for a 40% rise in salary compared to where I
                                                                 future this typically risk-averse woman might even consider
was before I started the Foundation degree.
                                                                 starting her own business, something she wouldn’t have
                                                                 dreamt of before.
“I am in absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the
knowledge and skills that the Foundation degree
brings have afforded me the rite of passage to a
senior management position within Nowgen. The
Foundation degree isn’t just a piece of paper, I’ve                       For further information please visit the fdf website at
acquired some fantastic skills and knowledge that are
taking me forward in my current role and my                                                    
future career.”                                                                                or contact the fdf Press Office at
Further benefits for Jan are that she now believes in herself,
the Foundation degree has given her confidence and she
believes that her opinions are now valid and worth
listening to.