Case Study

Steve Burbridge


Former retail manager Steve Burbridge felt that Sunderland offered him the perfect package to retrain when he made the life-changing decision to swap careers in his late 30s.  

I’m from Newcastle but I chose Sunderland because of its excellent reputation in media, coupled with its excellent facilities. 
 
It’s quite a modern university and that is really reflected in its outlook and teaching. The lecturers are still very hands on in their industry and this really gives a freshness to the course.
 
I started university with the idea of going into print, radio or television journalism and have ended up developing a career within publicity and marketing but that is all thanks to the great skills I gained and contacts I made while at Sunderland. 
 
As an older person returning to education I did feel quite daunted but I was made to feel very welcome from day one. The facilities at Sunderland were also amazing and it was great to be able to learn the skills of the trade within such a real world environment.
 
The melting pot of expertise to draw upon from the lecturers also made for a stimulating learning environment and helped me to decide which areas I wanted to go into.
 
I tried to get as much work experience as possible both before starting university and while I was there. This led to placements on local papers where I further developed my writing and reviewing skills.
 
It was actually one of the reviews I wrote about a show at the Sunderland Empire Theatre called The Naked Truth that led to my first job offer. The producer of that show contacted me and said he was looking for someone to do the publicity and marketing for the shows he was producing.
 
I literally finished university one week and started work the next. It took me in a direction I hadn’t previously considered as a future career option – I always thought I’d be a hard-nosed newshound. But I have now carved a bit of a niche in the show business sector.
 
I have also written three plays, one of which is going out as a professional production next year, which is very exciting.
 
My three years at Sunderland were an incredible journey and they gave me the skills I needed to make it in my new chosen career.”

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