A 5ft 1ins student who needed to pay herself through university took a tougher route than most – by working as a BOUNCER.
Tiny Maeve Geary, 29, worked part-time as a doorwoman while she studied special effects at University of Bolton, and described the extra cash as essential to help her complete her course.
Despite her tiny stature and small frame, Maeve wasn’t nervous when she first started working the doors and said she never had any problems sorting people out.
The Irish student said: “I did break up a lot of fights and I was physically capable of doing so but I always tried to talk to people first.
“If you approach people with respect and politeness instead of aggression, you find they react to you in the same way.
“Of course, there were a few men who didn’t like being told what to do by a woman and could be quite threatening.
“But I didn’t let them intimidate me.”
She added: “I absolutely needed to be making alongside my course.
“If you want to do your best at university, you have to work.
“I quite enjoyed it because while all my friends were out spending their money, I was in the same place earning it.”
Speaking about why she chose that part-time career, Maeve said: “When I was a child I had a strange sense of what was fair but I wasn’t very good at reacting quickly to situations and I was often seen as not being very good at sticking up for myself.
“I really wanted to throw myself into a situation where I would have to react quickly and make fast decisions.
“One night I was ID’d by a female bouncer and I asked how she got into the job.
“She told me and we’ve been friends ever since.”
Maeve added: “I wasn’t nervous but I think that comes with youth – I was 19 when I first went on the door.
“If I was starting now, I think I might feel differently.”
Maeve started her university career at Salford University studying popular music and recording in 2005 but dropped out of the course after her first year.
Maeve said: “I really wasn’t enjoying my first course so I used the last of my student loan to fund my training and pay for my bouncers’ licence.
“I then worked full time as a bouncer and had a job during the day while I tried to decide what I wanted to do.”
Maeve then re-enrolled at Bolton University in 2011 to complete a special effects degree and continued her part-time bouncer work.
She said: “I’ve also started a martial arts club at the university – it sounds like I’ve got some height issues.”
Maeve finally hung up her big, black overcoat when she was offered a funded PhD scholarship in 2014 and she is due to jet off to continue her studies in special effects and medical simulations at Boston Children’s Hospital in America – one week after she marries her fiancee, James Smallman at the end of March.
Maeve said: “I’ve not doing this story because I want to talk about myself – I want people to know they can do things like this that are different.
“They can take responsibility for their own achievements.”