I am originally from a small farming village in the Nottinghamshire countryside, but I have been obsessed with living in the city since moving to Sheffield to study Fine Art at University. It was there that I discovered my passion for computer-based design, working part-time at a bed sales company where I used CAD software to help clients turn their (sometimes wild) ideas into a functional piece of furniture. I realised quite soon that I preferred training designers to working with customers, which inspired me to pursue a career in education. After completing my BA, I decided to continue my studies and embarked on a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and started to work at The Sheffield College where I taught Photography, Fine Art and printmaking at GCSE and Foundation level.
Towards the end of my PGCE year, I realised that I needed a change of scenery, but I also wanted to continue studying in the field of Education. Feeling unsure of what I should do, I confided in a tutor who told me about a school in Malaysia which was offering a scholarship for a MA Education programme. I had never previously considered working abroad, but just six weeks later I found myself on an Emirates flight to Kuala Lumpur wondering if I had just made the biggest mistake of my life.
The ‘travel bug’ set in immediately, and I found myself jetting around South East Asia at any and every opportunity to explore ancient temples or join friends on a river tour. Three years later I wanted somewhere new to explore and began to apply for jobs slightly closer to home. I came across BIS Abu Dhabi and was hesitant at first. “What would it be like in the Middle East?”, “could I handle that?”, “does it look OK?”. Four years later, I am still here, still enjoying my time at BIS Abu Dhabi and still loving the Emirates.
Mike Mitchell, Visual Art Teacher