The 22-year-old, from Newdale, said she has her college tutors to thank for persuading her to go on to university, and secure the qualifications she needed.
Elle studied criminology, photography and health and social care at Telford College before gaining a first-class with honours, BSc degree in forensic investigation at Staffordshire University in 2022.
She is now on the verge of following this up with a masters degree in digital forensic investigation at the same university, where she is predicted to achieve a distinction, and graduate this coming November.
Her new role at Greater Manchester Police starts this month, and she said: “I can’t wait. It is a dream opportunity for me. If I’m honest, I didn’t have any interest in going to university when I was at Telford College, but it was my tutors who persuaded me to reconsider.
“My specific interest in digital forensics really began when I was paired with someone from the industry through a mentoring scheme at university. They worked with me for nearly a year, and I stayed in touch afterwards.”
“I learned so much from that, and discovered how digital forensics is now one of the fastest growing and most important areas of forensic work. It convinced me that this is what I wanted to specialise in.”
Throughout Elle’s time at university, she got hands-on with a lot of volunteer work. Her first role was being a wellbeing peer mentor. Within this role, she helped students and guided them through a variety of university-related difficulties.
In addition to this, Elle has also been a student ambassador at Staffs for over a year, representing the university at careers fairs all over the UK and working open days.
She has also been a Counter Terrorism Youth Advisory Group member for over two years with the Metropolitan Police, where she discusses prevention policing with like-minded volunteers, and meets survivors that share their personal experiences.
Elle has been a volunteer responder with the NHS since March 2020, and became closely involved with the Staffordshire Scarlettes cheerleading squad at university, serving as its finance officer.
As well as taking part in competitions, the cheerleading group has raised money for a string of cancer and mental health charities, and food banks.
“As well as being a lot of fun, joining the Scarlettes has been a valuable experience for me, because it has helped me to learn a lot about managing and working as a team, and being inclusive with people,” she said.
Alongside her studies, Elle also spent four months last year working as a Digital Forensic Examiner at digital forensics firm CYFOR in Manchester, which specialises in criminal defence investigations and corporate forensics.
“That was really helpful, because it gave me valuable experience when it came to my job interview with Greater Manchester Police. It confirmed to me that digital forensics was definitely the career for me, and showed the police that I had experience handling cases and I’m committed to working hard, and learning.”
The former Telford Langley School student added: “Criminology was always my favourite course back then, but I’d never imagined the path that it was going to take me.”
“I’ve been studying really hard ever since, but with a smile on my face. Getting a job like this isn’t easy – there’s a tough competency-based interview process, and I submitted a 4,000-word supporting statement for the role!
“But I revised every day and night from the moment I heard I’d been invited for interview – listening to podcasts and taking in information from people in the field. Learning from people with industry experience is really helpful.
“I didn’t want to come out of the interview feeling I’d not done the best I could possibly do. Thankfully, my dedication and enthusiasm must have come across, because they offered me the job!”
Check out Telford College’s range of courses – including criminology – at www.telfordcollege.ac.uk