What was it like living at home while studying at university?

I absolutely loved staying at home whilst studying at University of Cumbria. I was the first in my family to go to university and wasn’t overly keen on moving away from home. I’m a home bird through and through and like being close to home. I wouldn’t say the experience was any different really and I still had my own independence even though I was living at home. 

Were many of your peers doing the same?

I only knew of a couple of other students on my course who were local students, but didn’t necessarily live at home with their families, some of them moved into halls or private student accommodation.

Advantages of living at home?

It was a cheaper option for me, it allowed me to save my money and purchase my first car so that I was able to get to university without having to rely on my mum and dad or public transport.

Did you miss out on anything?

I wouldn’t say I did miss out on anything by living at home, I still had the same experiences and opportunities as everyone else and if I wanted to take part in any social activities I was always welcome to stop at my friend’s house.

Where is the family home?

The family home is just outside of Carlisle so it was a 25-minute commute from Brampton to Carlisle each day, but lots of scenery en route

Your advice to potential students considering staying local?

Don’t let other people convince you to move away, or out, if that isn’t what you want! I had lots of people telling me I should move away or move out to get my own independence but I still had that.

Always weigh up the positives and negatives, but ensure you consider the course in every decision you make. For me personally I knew that I wouldn’t cope moving away and I would have probably only lasted 1 week, but the University of Cumbria course was the right for me and I had to go with that.

How come you and Emily are both interested in theatre, parental influence or something else?

Our parents will go see shows in theatres but that’s it. I think my interest came from looking forward to that one hour of drama at school so much I took it as a GCSE option and continued it on in to my A Levels.

I always wanted to be a geography teacher, but once I discovered drama, I changed my mind and had my heart set on being a drama teacher.

I remember the day I was informed that I had been successful in becoming a student ambassador for the University, I felt really privileged to be given this opportunity and was honoured to work for and represent the University of Cumbria.

Best uni experiences?

Wow, best uni experiences, where do I start? I had lots of amazing experiences and wish I could go do it all again!

I think one of the best with memories that stick with me was when I was working with a group of peers on one of the 3rd year final musicals. I was the production manager for the show, and after all the long days and hard work in the theatre getting the lights, sound, set, costumes and props in place, the show opening. Then getting a standing ovation was just incredible and I felt so proud of the work we had all achieved.

What did being a student ambassador mean?

I remember the day I was informed that I had been successful in becoming a student ambassador for the University, I felt really privileged to be given this opportunity and was honoured to work for and represent the University of Cumbria.

Do you have any theatre ambitions?

I never really wanted to be a performer and I knew this before I started my degree, my ambition was to work with young people within performing arts. My degree confirmed this and my tutors were always very aware and supportive of this, but what was incredibly valuable to me was what my degree actually taught me about myself!

I developed and learnt a whole new range of skills, my confidence improved massively because of the course I was on but also due to my role as a student ambassador. I have been able to take away a wealth of knowledge, experiences and contacts from doing my degree.

Why did you go for an internship and what do you do?

When I heard of the graduate internships within the Recruitment and Widening Participation team I was really excited and applied straight away. Having worked for the team as a student ambassador I found their area of work very varied and interesting, so this gave me another career opportunity to consider.

I was successful in gaining the post of Widening Participation Access Graduate Intern and worked with the team supporting on campus recruitment events, community events and school & college activity.

After being in the role for 4 months the opportunity arose to apply for a permanent position within the team as a School and College Liaison Officer. I was successful in gaining this post and I love every aspect of my job. I feel really proud working for the University of Cumbria. It holds sentimental value to me.

Are you involved in any local theatre groups or organisations?

I am now the Principal and Owner of Razzamataz Theatre Schools West Cumbria

Future career ambitions?

I would never say never to teaching, but I am really happy working within Marketing and Recruitment and would definitely like to progress further within this area.

Hobbies and interests?

I absolutely love spending days out in the Lake District with my family and friends, enjoying the scenery and supporting local businesses. I enjoy going to watch theatre productions when I can convince my partner to come with me. I particularly like to try and arrange for myself and colleagues to go to Stanwix Theatre to watch the shows which University of Cumbria students put on. 

Anything else you want to add?

I co-own The Old Bank City Pub & Chophouse with my partner Matt.

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