From pin-up model to Sunderland lecturer - meet the University's new recruit with a 'rollercoaster' career

Sunderland University has recruited a new lecturer with a ‘rollercoaster’ career, which has included working as a national newspaper reporter, pin-up model and teacher.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 1:31 pm

Haili Hughes, from Warrington in Cheshire, is Sunderland University’s newest addition as a Senior Lecturer in PGCE English.

The lecturer, one of the UK’s most well-known speakers on mentoring, started her career as a national newspaper reporter, going undercover at celebrity weddings and attending huge world events including Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding.

Haili then decided to leave her journalism career behind following the London terror attacks in 2005.

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Haili Hughes is Sunderland University's newest recruit.

She said: “I knew I had to leave for my own well-being. So, I resigned and wondered what on earth I was going to do with an English degree.

"I had a few months’ break and spent some time doing unpaid work experience in my old secondary school and loved it, so I applied for a PGCE.

“When I got my first teaching job in a school in a disadvantaged area where I had grown up, I fell in love with the students, the school and the job.”

While attending a tattoo convention in Liverpool in 2010 Haili was scouted by an alternative modelling agency.

Haili has featured in around 30 retro, vintage and alternative fashion magazines.

Within two years, she was modelling for more than 100 clothing brands and labels and featured on the front cover of around 30 magazines.

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Mum-of-two Haili continued: “I have never covered my personality or changed who I am to progress. I don’t believe in being more corporate. I want to be my authentic self and so far, it has shone through.”

She has also appeared on the Teach Me A Lesson podcast, which is hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Greg James and his wife, author Bella Mackie, written for the TES (Times Education Supplement) and the Department for Education (DfE) blog and featured on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Haili has had a 'rollercoaster' of a career.

The lecturer continued to say she felt ‘welcomed’ by staff and students at a mentoring conference at Sunderland University earlier this year, adding: “It has been an interesting experience so far and I hope to grow, learn and make a difference by helping to train some incredible future teachers, who will go on to make an impact on thousands of students across the North East and beyond.”

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