William Endley is a 63-year-old receptionist clerk at The Topaz in Strand. When I asked him if he enjoys his job, he replied: “Absolutely.”

Before enrolling in his course, William spoke to an Oxbridge Academy Student Advisor over the phone and remembers the Student Advisor telling him: “You’re never too old to study”. William was 53 years old when he studied at Oxbridge Academy. “I believe I was the oldest student there at that time”, he says.


Challenges of a working student

William completed a Risk Management course, which he says was not easy. He was told things like “You’re never going to pass it”, but he shrugged off the comments, determined to try his best, write the essays and reap the rewards. He chose Risk Management because his manager at the time was a Risk Manager who told him, “William you must do it, because if I resign, you must take over”. While this never happened, William’s journey has been an inspiring one.

It took William 8 months to complete his course as a working student. While keeping his job as an administrative clerk in Health and Safety at the Stellenbosch University library, he studied during every spare moment, researched for his assignments during lunch breaks, put essays together at night and continued studying on weekends in the library where he worked and had access to computers and the internet.


A home study success

The most interesting thing William learnt while studying with Oxbridge Academy was Computer Security. He particularly enjoyed reading about data theft and Trojan horses, and how these risks relate to the safety of people and company assets.

While it wasn’t easy, William motivated himself with the help of his colleagues, who were curious and encouraging about his essays. The students in the Stellenbosch library would see him on Saturdays and in the evenings and show him support.

He says that, not only would he study through Oxbridge Academy again, but he’s also told his children that they should do it too, given the convenience of home study.


Never too old

William’s dream has always been to work with plants. William says if he were ever to win the lotto, he’d buy a piece of land and plant Christmas roses. Regarding retirement, he plans to work up until 65. William mentions that overseas, you can work until 70 years. He says: “if they give me a chance, I’ll do it. I’ll give that a go.”

Elvis Presley has been William’s role model from a very young age. He asked me if I noticed that he’s over 60 and still has black hair. This is because he’s inspired by Elvis, the King, who had red hair, but used black polish on it – a fact he read in the library. William continues to progress, work and live life to the fullest.