My Student Journey to Graduation

So 5 years ago it was time for me to leave secondary school, totally uncertain of what I was going to do, so I attended an open day at NESCOL (North East Scotland College). I was wandering aimlessly around like a rabbit caught in headlights, I was with my mum who asked what I was interested in, and I thought ‘social sciences?’ to this day I have no idea why I said that as I wasn’t any good at it at school. I was then caught and reeled in by a woman who would lead me to where I am today. Margaret McNaught my lecturer at college stopped me in my tracks and said ‘would you ever consider a course in Advertising and PR?’ I took a prospectus and had a look at the course, it looked really interesting and creative. She sold it to me right away. I felt like a weight had been lifted – I had a bit of direction now! I saw a stand that said Degree Link and spoke to the woman at the stand, she was from RGU and told me all about the Degree Link, and how I could do a two year course here at college and continue my last two years at university. I went straight to my guidance teacher at the time who burst into action, probably relieved that I had finally decided what I wanted to do and we got my college application started.

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Those two years at college were honestly so amazing, both my main lecturers, Lisa and Margaret made all the lectures really interesting and you were always working towards something. It wasn’t like school where you took exams at the end of the year, you were assessed continuously in college and I actually preferred this. However, I can’t get over the amount of presentations we had to do! It was my ultimate worst nightmare to begin with and I remember shoving a handful of rescue remedy down my throat before my first few ‘talks’. I genuinely believe these presentations helped my confidence massively and my classmates were so lovely by the end you were just talking to a group of your friends. We did a lot of different things at college such as organising events, presenting campaigns and group projects, writing press releases and creating (hypothetical) marketing campaigns for companies, we even took a couple of class trips. It was a lot of fun and there was a lot to do but the two years passed so quickly. I was really sad to leave college because everyone got on so well including the lecturers. I gained a couple of work experience opportunities at college during my time there as well.

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Above all I met my two best friends through this first stage of the course who will be graduating alongside me in a couple weeks’ time! We all followed each other through to the Management with Marketing course, a risky choice as the rest of our class continued onto the 3rd year Public Relations course at RGU. We all decided that we preferred marketing and knew we wanted to gain more experience in this area. To say these two girls have seen the best and worst of me is an understatement, from receiving our results to me asking for the 100th time at 5am the night before a report is due ‘what do you think this means again’. I definitely could not have done this experience without them! Meeting these two was definitely the best part of my student experience (soppy I know).

lauren and mel and meWhen I began university it was all so confusing and new, I was also a second year so everyone already knew each other. Luckily I had my friends who were also anxious. I remember being lost for a long time and not knowing where anything was. This is definitely something you get the hang of eventually. Second year was a good experience, going back to exams was a bit of a shock as I forgot how stressful they can be especially waiting for the results. I was happy with my results from second year and shocked myself at how much I already knew from college, which really helped me I think. That summer I spent my time looking for placements, desperately looking for one that I wanted to enjoy. Right at the end a placement opportunity popped up. It was for a digital copywriting assistant for the RGU Marketing Team. I applied and a few days later I received an invitation to attend an interview. I was so nervous and I hoped for the best! It was a success and I was offered a placement the following day.

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On my first day I was so nervous, I have no idea why though as everyone was absolutely amazing and friendly. I loved my placement, I looked forward to going in everyday and I had work mates who made the experience all the better. I was involved in a lot of the marketing and communication activities, which was good as I wasn’t just making tea and coffee for the office. I felt like a real asset. I helped promote the events such as Open Days, Graduation and Applicants Days for the university and carried out the social media promotions for the events on Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. I really enjoyed the social media side of the job and looked forward to posting content and engaging with the public on these platforms. I loved creating new ideas to get the audience interacting and found this area the most enjoyable. I also enjoyed attending these events and helping out at them as there is a real buzz on the day from everyone. I enjoyed the social side of my placement along with the practical job. I was sad to leave my placement but I was offered a part-time job to carry on working with the team while I was in fourth year which I was so grateful for!


Fourth year as you all know I found really hard. Turns out all the long nights, filled with dread and tears and cups of tea were worth it! I recently received my results and received a 2:1 in my course Management with Marketing! I feel so proud of myself and what I have achieved over the last 5 years and feel so grateful for all the help I received from start to finish. It really has been the best experience, one I would recommend to anyone.

Katie
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