Jacqueline Styles

Jacqueline Styles is an alumna of the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, having undertaken her studies in the 1990s. Since graduation she’s worked as a teacher in London, travelled widely and worked for Qantas and in the pharmaceutical industry. She’s now the proud mother of two young girls and has returned to teaching. Jacqueline came back to the Great Hall in 2010 to help the Faculty of Education celebrate its centenary. An accomplished singer, she sang beautifully for our Alumni & Friends at a unique celebration and reminiscence.

1. When were you in the ESW?

2. What degree/s did you complete?

3. Was there something in particular that attracted you to this course of study?
I had to marks to get in to the course. My brother was already at the University of Sydney studying Dentistry and I knew Sydney was well recognised globally. The history and architecture of the campus was also a draw card.

4. In what way did you use your ESW degree?
After graduating I travelled to Europe where I based myself in London where I taught in the inner boroughs. During the semester breaks I travelled around the UK and Europe, where I visited extended family. It was a great opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures, which I find most interesting. I also worked in New Hampshire USA on a Summer Camp as a Counselor on the way home. On my return I was accepted after eight interviews and a medical as an International Flight Attendant with Qantas Airways. After only nine months and lots of internal courses I was successful in the role of a First Class Flight Attendant. During one of my US trips, one of my First Class passengers headhunted me and encouraged me to enter the world of Pharmaceuticals. I emailed him six months later and he set up an interview with a Pharmaceutical Company and three weeks later I was employed as a Medical Rep detailing two antihypertensives and one antidepressant. I did very well in this role as once again it was one where I could play to one of my strengths – people skills.

5. What’s your current role?
Since having my two beautiful daughters Olivia and Arielle I decided that it was time to do a full circle and go back to teaching where one can not flaw the flexibility of being casually employed but also the holidays to have the balance and spend time and engage with my own children. I believe now I am such a better teacher as I bring a holistic approach to my teaching through my traveling and other job experiences and appreciate and see children differently since having my own.

6. How did your studies in the Faculty inform your current position?
The fact the Education Students have the ability to engage in so many elected Arts subjects is a huge advantage to the course and students. It sets students up for a range of diverse interests and study habits and allows you to meet a whole range of students from other degrees.

7. Do you have fond memories of your time on campus at ESW?
I can still recall my linguistics tutorials given by Dr Tim Fitzgerald. I’m not normally good with names so this says a lot in itself. He had a natural ability to share his knowledge and deliver content. He was always kind and gentle and sincere in his approach with a warm sense of humour. When he spoke he drew you into his world and everyone’s attention would be solely fixed on him. His teaching style suited me down to the ground. He made you feel important and that you could achieve well. I always looked forward to his tutorials and I also managed HD results. Not surprisingly!

8. Were you involved in extra-curricular activities either within or outside the Faculty?
Looking back I wish I had been bolder and thrown myself into more experiences the University of Sydney offered such as the musical side of things. I enjoy classical singing and performing.

9. How significant is it to you to be part of the Faculty’s alumni & friends group?
Obviously I feel a sense of belonging to the Faculty and its Alumni & Friends and of course am proud to be associated with the University as a whole.

10. And finally, any words of wisdom you’d like to pass on to the ESW alumni & friends?
Follow what you are passionate about and no doubt it will not only lead you down an exciting path but also make you feel a sense of content and fulfillment. It will give you a sense of purpose in this life journey.

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