Bobbi is a first (nearly second) year Journalism student.

BY BOBBI HADGRAFT

I honestly can’t believe I’ve already completed my first year at UA92. The highlights? Where do I begin!

It was quite a milestone moving from a small village outside of Hull to a city like Manchester. At first it was daunting, I almost felt out of my depth, but the city has become my second home. I have really missed it during the current lockdown.

One of the first things I noticed was the kindness of the people. It is a city where you don’t feel like you’re by yourself, but part of a bigger community. This leads me to the support network formed by local industries which lies at the heart of UA92’s ethos: to break down the wall between students and their potential employers. In my first year I have already visited KPMG as they helped me improve my presentation skills, been supported continuously by TalkTalk, as well as working with real journalists who have helped me start getting my foot in the door of a competitive industry. Even during the current lockdown, I have had written pieces published with the help of university contacts. I must stress that I did not expect the academics and partners to go out of their way to support us as they have done during our summer break! It’s very refreshing to feel like an individual as opposed to a number.

As someone who has had work experience at my local BBC newsroom, I was also incredibly impressed with the standard of equipment used throughout the course. I feel it gives us a head start, with industry grade technology on hand in the Media Studio.

On the subject of the personalised approach, each student is paired up with a personal coach as soon as you join. Despite being something I, admittedly, hadn’t considered much before joining, this has resulted in being one of my favourite privileges of the university! My coach, Bilal, has been amazing. He has helped me with networking, connecting me to possible work experience opportunities, and has also been there to speak to about any general worries I’ve had.

Onto student life… I’m quite into my football, so one of the first things I did when joining was tick off all of the local grounds! Thankfully I made some amazing friends on my course who share my footy obsession, so that really helped break the ice. The nightlife in Manchester is also second to none. Nights out have really been so much fun to help bond us all. It’s great going out with the students from your own and the other courses rather than just who you share a flat with!

Before I started university, I wish I’d known that we were all in the same boat. It’s a new experience for everyone and I wish I hadn’t felt so apprehensive. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and start conversations. You’ll make friends to last a lifetime.

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