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New beginning is just a call away

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Published on 16 August 2017

Nathan Ward
Nathan Ward

A friendly phone call inspired Nathan Ward to move 200 miles to an unfamiliar city, and start a new life. But for Nathan it worked out better than he ever expected – one year on from graduating with a First Class degree from the University of Sunderland Nathan is happy to call himself an adopted Geordie, and is working for one of the region’s most prestigious small companies.


“I didn’t achieve the A-Levels I needed, but I was very keen to move to the North East – I’m a massive Newcastle United fan,” says Nathan, who is originally from Corby in Northamptonshire. “I had heard great feedback from people who studied at Sunderland, and on my results day I decided to ring the University.

“Sunderland’s Clearing team put me right at ease at a time when I was very stressed. They told me they would love me to come to Sunderland, and that definitely helped make up my mind.”

“The support network provided by the University was second to none,” says Nathan, 22. ”Having to move 200 miles was hard, but thanks to the University and the friends I made on my degree I’ve been able to make a life up here.”

All new students are guaranteed accommodation at the University of Sunderland, as well as a Free Travel Pass for their first year.

Nathan graduated with a First Class Honours degree in BA Business and Management in 2016. A year on he is working in one of the country’s most famous UK success stories – and is loving his new life in the North East.

 “I secured a full-time job at BT just a couple of hours before I graduated – then a role came up at Ebac in Newton Aycliffe, and I jumped at the opportunity.”

Ebac is one of the UK’s last independent manufacturers. Founded in 1972 by John Elliott, the company produces dehumidifiers and washing machines, and employs around 200 local people.

“Ebac has a strong family ethos that runs through the whole business,” says Nathan. “There are a lot of mums and daughters, fathers and sons working here and the business is family run.

“I’m working as a Graduate Digital Marketing Executive, monitoring and improving the performance of Ebac on our online platforms. Ebac have been using online platforms for quite some time, but e-commerce is constantly growing and evolving so it is about keeping up with that evolution, and getting ahead of the competition.

“My degree from Sunderland gave me the chance to learn and develop in all areas of business, and I would definitely recommend the University. Calling the Clearing hotline was the best decision I’ve ever made. Sunderland helped shape my future.”

Today (Thursday, 17 August) is A-Level results day, and the University of Sunderland Clearing Hotline is open on 0191 5153000.

You can find out more online at: www.sunderland.ac.uk/clearing, or come along to the Clearing pop-in event on Friday 18 August from 10am-2pm, at the Gateway, City Campus, Chester Road. No appointment needed. Academics, financial experts and advisors will be on hand to let you know your best option for higher study.

Clearing is the activity that happens on and close to A level Results Day. It’s an opportunity for students looking to begin university this September to choose or move to the course and university of their choice.

Those eligible for Clearing are:

  • Students applying to University after 30 June
  • Students applying to University before 30 June but who are not holding any offers
  • Students who have changed their mind about their first and insurance choices

All new students are guaranteed accommodation at the University of Sunderland

The University offers a Free Travel Pass - as well as many other Scholarship and Bursaries - to all new students