Katy Dawson may only be in her first year with us, but she has already thrown herself into life at BU, taking advantage of as many opportunities as she can - she’s a student ambassador, a member of the Dance Society and is already making plans for her placement year.
Chatting to Katy it would be easy to assume that she’s in the second or even final year of her BA (Hons) Marketing & Communications degree - not part way through her first. She feels very comfortable and at home at BU, something she puts down to the friendly atmosphere and caring staff.
“Before I came to university, everyone told me I’d just be one of 200 students in a lecture theatre. What I’ve actually realised since being here is that all the lecturers are really dedicated and want you to succeed. They’ll take time out of their day to help you - not just with the academic side of things, but to check you’re happy and coping with being away from home,” she enthuses.
Coming to university has been a learning curve for Katy, but one that’s had an incredibly positive impact on her. “I’ve definitely become more independent. It’s helped me grow and shown me that I can do things for myself, but more importantly it’s made me realise what I want to do, what kind of person I want to be.”
When it comes to her future career, Katy is very focused on entering the world of marketing. When asked why she chose to pursue this career path, she laughs, revealing that she discovered she was interested in marketing by mistake.
“During my A-Levels I studied photography and without even realising it, I based my whole two years of photography around marketing,” she says with a smile. “I was working on a project about Cadbury and how they want to present their brand image, something that I captured through photography. Then I realised that I’d done a whole marketing project just through photography, which showed me how fascinated I was with the whole subject area without knowing it.”
This pushed Katy in the direction of marketing courses and having looked at various options, she was drawn to the BA (Hons) Marketing & Communications course at BU, which is proving to be challenging and enjoyable in equal measure.
Katy is particularly enjoying the practical nature of the course and having the opportunity to use the marketing theory she’s learning in real-world settings. She’s very enthusiastic about one particular project. “At the moment we’re doing a live brief, which means a client has come in and given us a brief to work to,” she explains. “If they like our work they’ll use it and pilot it, which is really interesting and definitely makes everything a bit more exciting than just revising from a text book.”
She is also looking forward to her placement year, with Katy hoping to have the chance to experience two different marketing environments. “I’m not sure if I want to do in-house marketing or the agency side of things at the moment, so I’m hoping to split my time and do six months in-house and then six months in an agency,” she says, admitting that she can’t wait to get started on the application process and begin looking for placement opportunities.
While Katy is enjoying her course, she’s very aware that university has so much more to offer than just a qualification at the end of it, and she’s keen to make the most of her time at BU. She’s found her role as a student ambassador - which sees her speaking to prospective students, acting as a mentor and helping at various university events - especially rewarding: “As a student ambassador, I represent the Faculty of Media & Communication, which is really fun. I’ve really enjoyed helping other people make choices about what they’re going to do.”
She’s also looking forward to the summer and getting to make the most of Bournemouth’s beautiful beach. “I’m one for the beach and I think in the summer it will be great, especially when we get some warmer weather,” she laughs. It’s not all about relaxing once her exams are over though, as Katy is also hoping to spend some of her summer break on a marketing internship to gain valuable experience ahead of applying for placements for her third year.
When asked if she’s got any advice for anyone starting at BU in September, Katy’s face breaks into a beaming smile: “Just make the most of your time. I feel like I came here yesterday and it’s flown by so quickly. Take everything in, go along with it and just enjoy it all.”