Before I came to university, I was studying at college and working part-time in a fast-food restaurant, which wasn’t giving me a lot of gratification. I realised that the University could offer me several opportunities at undergraduate and postgraduate level to do something I’m really interested in.
Having lived in Sunderland all my life, it’s a place very close to my heart, so when it came to making a decision about where to study, I knew there would be no better place. The University has some amazing facilities, which I knew would benefit me and offer me the opportunity to improve not only as a practitioner, but as an academic. Plus, it’s given me the chance to engage with young people within my hometown which I’m very passionate about.
I enjoyed the way my lecturers challenged me at undergraduate level to start thinking differently. It helped me feel empowered to push myself academically and ultimately progress to studying at postgraduate level. One of my favourite aspects of the master's course is definitely the placements, being given the freedom to express my views and ideas into my youth work practice. Academic life aside, I’ve also loved getting involved with the social side of things by playing for the University’s football team – it’s given me a great sense of pride to represent Sunderland.
My advice to any prospective students would be to choose a subject you’re passionate about, enjoy every minute and get involved with as much as you can during your studying. Make the most of the opportunities available to you, as the University has so much to offer.
Since my undergraduate degree, several work opportunities have presented themselves to me. However, I chose to continue studying at master's level to improve my academic skills and further enhance my employability by gaining my JNC Youth Work qualification. Once I graduate from my MA, I hope to take up a career as a youth worker and put the work I’ve dedicated the last four years of my life to into practice. There have been talks with my tutors of a PhD and the potential of lecturing, and although I’m not sure this is something I want to pursue, it really demonstrates how far I’ve come since attending university.
I’d sum up my whole experience of studying at the University of Sunderland as life-changing. Thanks to both of my courses, I now have the skills, knowledge and confidence I need to step into my first role when I graduate.”
Published 15 March 2022