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Secondary School Deputy Principal, Shipton

The support offered was fantastic though and I soon regained my confidence. The placements were brilliant, and I always had someone to go to if I needed help.

My career before becoming a teacher

I graduated with a degree in Finance and assumed that this should be the route that I should follow. I worked for Barclays Mortgage Services before I realised that this was not the industry for me.

I worked in radio advertising for years and then became the Marketing Director for a fashion company. I'd always wanted to own a restaurant, so at the age of 31 I opened Cook’s - a bistro in North West Leeds. After a couple of years, and due to the impending arrival of my first child, I decided to sell the restaurant and pursue another path. I decided to find a PCGE course for Business and Economics and it's the best decision I have ever made.

Mark Cook speaking at alumni event.

Inspiration to be a teacher

I had delivered a lesson on radio advertising for my sister-in-law who was an English/Media teacher and I absolutely loved it. As I was at a crossroads in my life after selling the restaurant, I decided to take a risk and try something completely different. I was 33 at this point.

Why I chose Leeds Trinity to complete my teacher training

I researched local providers and felt that Leeds Trinity had a lot to offer. Also the partnership schools were where I would eventually be looking for work.

My teacher training experience at Leeds Trinity

It was intense to begin with as I'd been out of education for some time. The support offered was fantastic though and I soon regained my confidence. The placements were brilliant and I always had someone to go to if I needed help.

What I love most about teaching

Making a difference. Every day, you can help mould the future of the young people in your care. You can inspire them, support them and see them progress academically, as well as socially and emotionally.

My career progression

As a late starter, I used my experience in the private sector to good effect. In my second year of teaching, I became a Head of Year - a middle management position that gave me access to Senior Leader meetings and concerns. From there, I was Director of Faculty, Assistant Headteacher and then the Deputy Principal at a secondary school in Skipton. I believed that I had the skills needed to make a difference, and although I got knock-backs along the way, I worked on the mantra that ‘if you don't put yourself forward, you won't get the job’.

My advice to anyone considering a career in teaching

Go for it! It's a fantastic profession where you can literally change lives. Be confident and believe in yourself.