Social sciences - student stories
Dr Yossi Ives, Rabbi and Life Coach
What do you currently do?
I am a part-time rabbi at a Synagogue in South London. I also do a small amount of life coaching, primarily in relation to singles and dating, and I deliver a coaching course, as well as writing on the subject. I am also the chairman of two global organisations whereby my role is to lead strategic development and manage staff to ensure continued funding in order to support the growth of these organisations.
What made you decide on OU study?
The range of courses in the social sciences such as media, social work, crime prevention, environment, social identity – leading to an MA in social sciences.
I had originally planned to study theology, philosophy or history; the kind of subjects many would expect of a minister of religion but as that didn’t work out, I turned to the social sciences. I am enormously glad I did, as it has opened up a whole new world to me.
Now my work involves both research into social issues and practical projects – it’s hard to imagine that all this would not have been possible if I hadn’t decided to go for an MA in the social sciences.
Tell us about your OU study
As a minister of religion, I found the opportunity to engage seriously in understanding the social issues confronting contemporary society to be highly enriching.
I was always interested in the world around me, but this course of study dramatically broadened my understanding of the field of social studies and triggered in me a serious desire to bring my religious education as a rabbi into contact with my new education in the social sciences.
I found the flexibility of the Open University course highly suited to a busy and demanding work and personal life.
What did you do after you graduated?
My OU studies ended in 2003, and over the years I did a variety of jobs that helped me to come to the point I am at now. For example, I was given the opportunity to be a prison chaplain, which allowed me to gain new perspectives on the criminal justice system that much complemented my OU criminological studies.
Following on from my MA, my OU careers advisor suggested I may wish to consider training as a coach. This has been life changing as I have now become a qualified coach and completed a PhD on goal-focused coaching.
What advice can you offer to current OU students?
Take advice. Consider options that may not seem obvious to you. Be willing to try something different.