Tafadzwa, or Taffy as she likes to be known, is bubbly and outgoing. She smiles and laughs a lot as we discuss BU and what she likes about being here. It’s the friendly atmosphere that she likes the most, she says, adding: “The lecturers are awesome, and working with experienced lecturers is really nice.”
Taffy is in her second year of a BA (Hons) Tourism Management degree, but admits that it took her a while to decide what to study at university. “It was a difficult decision between events management and tourism,” she explains, although BU’s Tourism Management course won in the end because of the variety of modules it covers.
“There were more units that I wanted to do [on this course], like marketing and finance. I was especially keen to study finance, even though I hate maths, because I wanted to push my limits.” She adds, with a laugh: “I actually enjoyed finance, which I didn’t expect to!”
She feels as though the variety of subjects covered on her course will stand her in good stead when it comes to getting a job, both for her placement year and after graduation. “I like this course because I want to learn about different aspects of the sector and then I can take them out into the industry, no matter what job I end up doing,” she states.
In July, Taffy is due to be going on a work placement, although she tells us that she hasn’t yet found the right job for her. “I’m still looking for somewhere to go on my placement year, and I’m leaning towards the marketing side of things, because I’d like something quite practical,” she says.
She’s also considering splitting her time on her placement, spending six months in one company and six months in another company, to give her a wider range of experience. Taffy is particularly taken with events management, thanks to work that she’s been doing with BU’s Nerve, an organisation set up by the Students’ Union that publishes its own magazine, has its own radio station and organises events.
“We’ve been organising events every month on a different theme,” Taffy explains. “We’ve had to buy the props, organise the budgeting, and use online resources to order all of our stuff. We’ve had to work as a team in order for it to work, and that’s what I’ve really enjoyed.”
She joined Nerve as part of the Student Development Award, which encourages students to get involved in a variety of activities and societies while they’re at BU. Taffy says that being part of the scheme - and the things she’s experienced as a result - is one of her biggest achievements at university so far. “Getting involved with volunteering, getting involved with a society, meeting people from different courses - all of that is because of this award and I’ve really enjoyed it,” she comments.
Working as a student rep and a student ambassador has been another highlight for Taffy and she’s really enjoyed working at Open Days. “I just tell everyone I talk to to come here,” she laughs.
She’s keen to point out that there’s a lot going on in Bournemouth, not just at the university but elsewhere around the town as well: “There’s always a good atmosphere and there are always different events like festivals, arts festivals, vintage markets, and at Christmas there’s ice skating.”
When asked what she’d recommend to new students, she doesn’t hesitate: “Definitely the beach,” she says with a grin. “Maybe join the surfing society if you want to get out in the sea,” Taffy adds with a laugh. She also mentions Swanage and Durdle Door, noting that these, and other great tourism sites, are just a bus ride away. Having open space and the seaside on her doorstep was one of the things that attracted her to BU, and going for a walk by the beach is one of her top tips for stress relief.
As you might expect from someone studying tourism, Taffy is keen to travel, but she tells us that she’s learned a lot about different cultures just from the other students on her course. “Everyone’s from Europe, I’ve learned different parts of languages, which has been awesome, and I’ve learned about how people live in other countries,” she enthuses, adding: “It would be amazing to work abroad once I graduate.”