Skills developed through study
Hazel Pegg, Glastonbury Online, General Manager
Hazel is responsible for the running of the Glastonbury Online website, and is part of the management team for Glastonbury Online Limited, which helps in the development of internet use among businesses and community groups in Glastonbury.
She had been living abroad and on her return had no relevant qualifications. Her brother gave her a computer and she took up OU studies in technology and computing. As her confidence grew, Hazel offered to help collect information for the local website and ended up running it. After further studies she developed a local consortium, which has now become the not-for-profit organisation Glastonbury Online Ltd.
Key employability skills
Hazel attributes her success with Glastonbury Online directly to her OU studies.
Passing that first OU course and discovering that I could still do things and learn things and put them to use gave me an incredible amount of confidence. It got me back into the habit of thinking I can do this. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for the OU.
I think the OU is so valuable. The OU was my lifeline. When you’ve been out of education for a long time or haven’t attended education first time round, getting that first pass is an amazing feeling and you think, I’m not taking second best, I can do better.
Hazel attributes the knowledge and skills she gained from OU study to the success of Glastonbury Online in promoting Glastonbury, keeping the tourist footfall on the streets and helping to keep local businesses running.
Whenever we did anything at a community level I was looking at how we would use the web to support it. We were registering websites in 1997/98, long before other communities. We were ahead of the curve here as we recognised that you had to have an internet presence to promote yourself, especially in a rural community.
Hazel has been involved with OU Students Association since the late 1990s when she helped set up the OU virtual society. She saw that a virtual society was important for those based in rural locations who couldn’t travel easily to tutorials but still wanted to communicate with their fellow students. She was elected a member of the Nominet UK Policy Advisory Board, and believes that the confidence she gained from her involvement with the OU helped support her in this role.
I was sitting in meetings with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry - the OU gave me the confidence to do this. It also gave me the confidence to stand for OU Students Association and I now sit in the role of Vice President Communications on the Central Executive Committee.