Karen Masse - BA French, 1984; PGCE 1985
Karen works for The Marzio School, an adult language training company based in the south of France. Karen is responsible for preparing and organising teaching courses and for providing English language training to firms around the area of l’Etang de Berre. She also gives English lessons privately to keep her teaching skills up to date.
Following her studies at Leicester, Karen went on to teach French at South Wigston High School, until she left in 1986 and moved to France, where she got married and embarked upon a career in teaching English to French professionals.
Karen feels her experience as a student helped to shape her life and career: Leicester University life gave me confidence in myself and that has enabled me to find my feet here in France, facing the difficulties of a different language and culture.”
Karen’s future ambitions include extending her English teaching to include the Hotel Industry, Catering and Tourism, and to set up her own small business and work independently in some of the well-known hotels and catering schools in the region: “Maybe later on I might even envisage having a small B&B or guest house to carry on using my English and welcoming foreign visitors to this lovely area of France.”
Richard Hayes - BA Sociology 1973
"I chose Leicester University for my undergraduate studies because of the near 50-50 male-female ratio, a rarity in those days. I suppose there were other factors such as the course, distance from my home in London (the further, the better) and so on. I then chose to go back there for a PGCE after a two-year VSO break because I knew it well. Emilie, who came across from Holland for her MA, chose it because she had a boyfriend in London (the nearer, the better).
We met because we both joined the Tennis Club and I wondered who this girl was playing in cut off jeans, a knee support and John Lennon glasses.
We became good friends, meeting for tennis and drinks. Luckily, she’d split with the boyfriend in London but, not so luckily, she didn’t immediately choose me as a replacement which only came right at the end of our postgrad year. Then she went off to work in Spain and I to Saudi Arabia, but via a cassette sent with a friend I asked her to marry me and join me in the desert. That was 34 years ago.
Our year together at Leicester was an emotional roller coaster ride, but we can honestly say that if it hadn’t been for Leicester, we wouldn’t be together today".
Richard Hayes Leicester University 1969-73, 1975-6; Emilie Tieken Leicester University 1975-6.