Awards: Atholl Crescent Award  

Hometown: Broxburn, Scotland

 

About You 

How did you come to choose the course and why QMU?

I was looking for a change after working in warehousing for roughly ten years on what was supposed to be a year out after leaving school! I applied to West Lothian College with the intention of studying the HNC course in Advertising Marketing and PR with the possibility of going on to study an HND. I never for a moment thought I would end up going to University and graduate with a 2:1. I really thought the chance of university had passed me by. West Lothian work in partnership with QMU so on successful completion of my HNC, I was able to go straight into second year at QMU as a direct entrant. I’ve always been a creative kind of person so I decided to study Marketing PR and Advertising and within weeks of starting the course it was clear to me that this is what I have always wanted to do

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

As a mature student the choice to study in Edinburgh was an easy one as I have my own place so upping sticks and moving away wasn’t really an option. Throughout my time at QMU people would tell me that I had “some trek” every morning but it really wasn’t the case. Broxburn to Edinburgh would take 50 minutes on the bus and the train from Waverley to QMU is literally a seven minute journey and the station is on the campus.

Living Away from Home

As I mentioned I have my own place.

As far as my favourite parts of Edinburgh, They all seem to involve booze! It’s not really a hidden gem but Whistle Binkies is always great for live music and I have become really fond of a place called Stramash in the Cowgate which if you are old like me will remember as being Wilkie House many moons ago. Finally my favourite thing about Edinburgh is the transformation it goes through every August for the Fringe. The whole place is buzzing and the atmosphere is electric.

"The work placement in fourth year may seem a little daunting but you get out of it what you put in. I found it to be of great value when applying for jobs as I had a realistic idea of what to expect within the workplace."
Greg Clark

I never actually visited the University before I started there! For some reason I was unavailable to make the open days but to be perfectly honest by the time open days came around my mind had already been made up for some time that QMU was where I wanted to go as I had familarised myself with the Uni and course via the website. Having been a part of open days as a QMU student I would urge people to not follow my lead and attend an open day as they are a lot of fun and very informative.

What I loved about the course was the wide range of topics covered and, as clichéd as this may sound, the lecturers. They really are experts in their chosen fields and their combined knowledge is scary! But no two days at QMU were ever the same and that makes the course interesting. The work placement in fourth year may seem a little daunting but you get out of it what you put in. I found it to be of great value when applying for jobs as I had a realistic idea of what to expect within the workplace.

I guess my advice to students considering the course would be to grab the opportunities provided within the course and the University with both hands. The beauty of QMU is with it being smaller than other institutions, your lecturers know you. You’re not just a face in a lecture hall and that gives you nowhere to hide either! The feeling of standing in the University on the evening of graduation introducing your family to the people who guided you through your university journey is one of pride that will stay with you for a very long time. So yeah, Get to know your lecturers, they really are a great team and they are there to help you and if they know you are trying your best they will bend over backwards to help you succeed.

Finally don’t leave things to the last minute – eight weeks may seem like plenty of time to hand in an essay but before you know it six weeks have passed and all that’s there is an empty pad of paper. It is easier said than done but try and keep on top of things.

I worked in my local pub “The Halfway House” during second year but I felt in third year it was time to concentrate solely on my studies (the biggest lesson I learned that year was how to budget!). During the summer breaks I had various work placements and internships which were made available through the University and although the pay was for the most part rubbish, the experience I gained was priceless

After Graduation

I’m lucky enough to have found my graduate job. I am back where it all started at West Lothian College only this time as member of staff. I am the Marketing Officer for the College and I love my job! Every day is different and I honestly believe that my experience at QMU was a major factor in me getting the job. Being a student at QMU changed my life without a doubt

Would you consider further study?

I’m seriously considering studying a Master’s but not for a year or two. I need to make some money first!!

 

Story published 2016-2017