Nov 2017
28

Career Switch at 40 – “It’s Hectic but It’s All Worth It”

Hospitality student and mother of three Ambreen Umar Qureshi demonstrates perfectly that it’s never too late to pursue your true passion.

Share with us a little about yourself.

Ambreen: I was born and raised in Pakistan. After getting married, I stayed in the US for 12 years. Thereafter, I moved to Singapore and have been here for 10 years. Outside of school, I am also teaching English to students from Japan, Korea, India, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

You’ve been teaching for most of your life. What prompted you to join the hospitality field?

Ambreen: I’ve always wanted to be in the hospitality industry. Coupled with my love for travel, I’ve always been drawn to the allure and mystery of hotels. I’m intrigued to know what goes on behind the scenes! Although I enjoy teaching, I felt that it was time to take up a new challenge. So here I am, pursuing my Diploma in International Hospitality Management at LSBF.

What is it like acclimatising to school as the oldest student in your course?

Ambreen: It’s interesting when the shoe is on the other foot. As I’ve done many courses through my years of teaching, I feel that studying again hasn’t been a big change. Still, it did leave me feeling like I should have done this when I was younger!  

Sometimes I do feel out of sync with my younger peers, who can be rather playful in class. The most important thing for me is to stay focussed, which is why I am always seated at the front of the classroom. It also helps that the lecturers here have years of experience under their belts, so we are constantly gaining insights and kept engaged.

On top of being a part-time English teacher, you are also a mother of three. Has it been tough juggling all these roles with your studies? What advice can you give to others who are thinking of making a late career switch?

Ambreen: My days follow a rather structured routine and it’s just non-stop movement sometimes! It has been hectic trying to juggle family, work and school, but it’s all worth it.

My advice for late career movers is to just go for it! Seize every opportunity to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. It’s never too late to pursue your passion. Stay focussed, be willing to listen and learn, and keep yourself active so you won’t lose momentum.

Inspired by Ambreen to take on a new challenge? See if you have what it takes here

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