Vivean Pomell

Education MA

Vivean first came to BCU to gain a diploma in Social Work . When she was encouraged to further her education with a M aster’s degree , she returned to BCU for its welcoming and familiar community . Vivean has since established her own business , Learn with Lolonyo , with BCU ’s support .  

“With lots of experience when I was younger, my higher education journey began with a Diploma in Social Work from what was then Birmingham Polytechnic, and later a BA in Education from the University of Worcester, which then led to my role as an Ofsted Inspector. However, after getting carpal tunnel syndrome during my first pregnancy, I was denied a career break, which gave me the push to leave my job, and return to higher education.

I decided to study an MA in Education at BCU as the course aligned with my goal to not only improve my understanding of the industry but also to enhance the quality of service that I provide to the children under my care. Investing in further education was a natural step to expand my business opportunities too. 

BCU was a nearby university, and thanks to the MA course being part-time, it was ideal for me as it allowed me to continue working. Before coming to university, I faced financial challenges, so working alongside my studies was beneficial to me.

BCU made me feel incredibly welcome from the start, valuing the knowledge and experience I brought with me. The orientation sessions, friendly faces, and approachable staff created a supportive atmosphere, and the welcoming community at BCU played a crucial role in making me feel at home from day one.

Before returning to BCU, I established Brynels Millinery, a bespoke hats and accessories brand, channelling my creative energy into something that has graced London Fashion Week's catwalk, gained national recognition and opened numerous opportunities for me

Juggling the demands of a young family, and the responsibilities of managing my own business alongside a childcare service too, made the move back into education quite challenging. However, I knew that these challenges were just part of the journey. 

I’m so proud of my time at BCU, especially in my MA Education thesis, which focused on the crucial theme of black women in leadership within education. This research not only deepened my academic understanding, but also highlighted the significance of positive representation in leadership roles. 

My Master’s course aligned well with the core mission of my business, Learn with Lolonyo, which I established in early 2023. Learn with Lolonyo aims to foster diversity and positive representation in educational resources. 

My academic journey has not only played a part in my business, but has also led to collaborations with BCU. Together, we have engaged in partnerships for product development and testing, ensuring that Learn with Lolonyo's materials represent diversity and sustainability for school-age children. 

Alongside my new business, I'm also in the process of developing workshops and consultancy services which will delve into the importance of positive representation, reaching parents, educators, and organisations. The aim is not just to provide resources but to foster a broader understanding of diversity in education. BCU has played a huge role in shaping these collaborative ventures for me, and recent opportunities have included exhibiting at events hosted by HSBC, Santander, NatWest, Academies, BCU, Woman of the Year, Legacy Centre of Excellence and the Black Pound Project.

BCU provided invaluable support throughout my degree, and the one-on-one assistance was particularly useful. Academic advisors and tutors were always available, helping me navigate coursework and refine my approach. This personalised support, alongside services like personal well-being and career guidance, really contributed to my positive academic experience at BCU.

I AM BCU means a sense of identity and belonging. It represents pride in being part of a diverse community with shared aspirations.”