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Why did you decide to study at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS)?

I decided to study at UCS because I felt part of a community, following my first campus tour. I had toured alternative universities, where I felt like a small fish in a big pond – it made me feel unsure about studying away from home. I liked that the University of Chester course was on offer in my hometown of Shrewsbury, making it easier for me to work whilst studying for a degree.

Can you tell me a bit more about your studies and why you chose to study BA Business Management?

The Business Management course offered a variety of different modules that covered all parts of working in business. For me, this was particularly useful – I chose my university options at the age of 17, when I wasn’t sure which aspect of business I wanted to study. We were given compulsory modules in the first year, covering each area of business, but we could specialise further in Years 2 and 3. By the third year, I had decided I wanted to work in the field of Human Resource Management, meaning I could focus the modules I studied, my dissertation, and any work experience/volunteering around this subject. This was really useful because not everyone enjoys or excels in every aspect of business or management, so you could customise your studies to what’s relevant to you.

How does it feel to have gained a degree?

It feels amazing to have completed my degree and achieved a first, despite the pandemic. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the support of my Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) at UCS. I was confused about what to do following university, and the options were limited because we were in and out of lockdowns. My PAT was amazing – being both my tutor and one of my lecturers, they knew me as a person already, so they could offer advice on career paths and future study.

Having obtained my undergraduate degree, I was offered a scholarship to study a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management at the University of Birmingham. This meant that I was able to become a student member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).  I chose this career path based on my enjoyment of modules relating to People Management at UCS, which I had studied since the first year. Being able to choose a dissertation topic I was passionate about also helped, as this solidified my interest in conducting further HR research.

I also undertook work experience with the BBC, Siemens and Beiersdorf this summer.

What are your plans and hopes for the future?

I’m applying for graduate jobs in the field of HRM, but particularly in the education sector. My dream has always been to become a university lecturer, so I plan on gaining as much work experience as I can in the meantime. I think my time at UCS has influenced this dream because I now understand the impact a supportive university and approachable lecturers can have on your future.

What was the greatest challenge you faced in achieving your degree?

Like many people, my mental health suffered as a result of the lockdowns in 2020/2021, meaning I felt isolated. I also experienced the breakdown of my six-year relationship in my third year, which led to me suffering mental and physical problems. I think this is something that lots of students experience during their time at university, but it was particularly difficult as it was during the lockdown, and I didn’t know where to go for support. I spoke to my PAT about what had happened. I then had weekly 1:1 meetings with my tutor. The University also provided free wellbeing services for both emergency and long-term use – they encouraged me to reach out to helplines, provided a counselling service, and helped me extend and defer some assignments. If it wasn’t for my PAT and the wellbeing services, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my dissertation or achieve a first-class degree. They made me even more determined to finish my degree. I didn’t realise how much help the University offered until I really needed it.

How has UCS helped you to accomplish what you have achieved?

I had a real sense that UCS genuinely wanted to help me achieve, and their partnership with the University of Chester extends the services that are on offer even further.

How important is it to make the most of the opportunities that are provided here for students?

I was keen to gain work experience whilst I was studying in Shrewsbury. The local business connections helped with this. During my three years at UCS, I took student tours around the Centre, hosted live chat events, and helped out on Open Days as a Student Ambassador. I also had a paid job through UniJob with the Continuing Professional Development team on site, which gave me some connections with Shropshire Council. We also received emails from the Careers team detailing opportunities - one of which was a leadership scholarship programme with Santander Universities UK. I completed this online during my second year and was one of 19 students to represent the University of Chester on the course. I also did some volunteering for Shropshire Festivals and the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce during this time.

What has been the best thing about your experience at UCS? Are there any particular highlights?

The best thing about my experience at UCS was the variety of people I got to know. With Shrewsbury being a small town, some of the people on my course were already working in business or management and some were of a similar age to me. I learn best through listening to other people’s experiences. The small group sizes meant we had class debates every day and could share our own experiences – I often used these examples in my assignments or in the workplace. So, I’d say the people are University Centre Shrewsbury’s best asset.



Jade Quinn at University Centre Shrewsbury graduation
Jade Quinn at University Centre Shrewsbury graduation


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