I AM BCU - Something Special

We asked some of our students to tell us something special they have experienced during their time at Birmingham City University.

I AM BCU Article 1200x450 - Student in front of I AM BCU letters

Ellie, BSc (Hons) Psychology

Ellie Something Special 300x200 - Screenshot of the Instagram page for the Mental Health First Aiders Society My first year at BCU has been incredible. After completing my A-levels in 2018, I didn’t feel I was ready to commit to Uni, nor did I feel I was in a position to choose a subject I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.

So, after a year of doing nothing in particular, I was surprised to find I was excited to start.

My flatmates are greater than I imagined, they are funny, like-minded but also completely different from myself. We appreciate that we can all be quite unsocial at times, but always make the effort to socialise throughout the week. Having them to support me, but also being able to support them has been an asset to this year, and leaving them so quickly, without a proper goodbye, has been hard.

I have been lucky to have been given so many opportunities this year – starting as a Level 4 SAL (Student Academic Leader), to then being voted as ‘Lead’ SAL and taking on a responsibility role; starting my job as a Social Media Ambassador which I have loved devoting my time to; and also completing my Mental Health First Aid training in December and being offered the role of Mental Health First Aid Coordinator in February.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but these last two weeks have been my favourite, because although everything else at the moment is concerning and unpredictable, my responsibilities have remained constant. And knowing that my peers need me now more than ever, has been so rewarding and inspired. I’m exhausted, to say the least, but I’ve enjoyed keeping busy and I feel lucky that I am in the position where I can easily communicate with friends, peers and lecturers – through Teams, MHFA and the Level 4 Psychology Facebook Group I created as Lead SAL.

Nafisa, LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology

I’ve had so many good experiences at BCU! The most special experiences come down to all the trips that BCU offer. I’ve been to Shrewsbury on a prison trip relating to my Criminology modules which was so much fun!! I got to experience an old prison from the view of a prisoner as well as explore around the area (it was a bonus that the weather was amazing!).

Also, I went on a trip to Drayton Manor. Although unrelated to my course, it was nice of the School of Law to offer this trip as it gave us students a breather from lectures, seminars and revision. The School of Law have given me not only educational experiences but experiences which allowed me to have some fun and relax away from all the assessments and deadlines. It was a good time for me and my friends on my course to have fun and create new experiences together!

Katie, BA (Hons) Marketing

Katie Something Special 300x200 - Katie infront of the I AM BCU letters During my time at BCU I have had many memorable moments. One of the great experiences for me was my placement year. Joining the BCU Business, Law and Social Sciences Marketing team allowed me to develop personally and professionally, being given high levels of responsibility and project managing key activities. I was able to learn new skills, new ways of thinking and gain a huge amount of experience that has given me confidence in job interviews.

I was able to make lasting relationships with my colleagues, which created a lovely environment to work in, especially as my friends had all moved away for their placements. I really learnt the importance of a team and enjoyed being surrounded by motivated people who made me laugh every day while working hard towards a goal.

Alongside this, some of the stand-out moments for me were being given the responsibility and opportunity to film a video at Manchester City Football Stadium, interviewing key staff from their marketing team and being treated to a VIP ticket, a real once-in-a-lifetime experience for me!

I also filmed a video at the Bullring Marketing offices, interviewing marketing managers and setting up shots in the shopping centre space. Additionally, I felt a real sense of achievement leading faculty open day events and having the responsibility for guest experience after 6 weeks of dedicated planning. Lastly I really enjoyed creating products for an applicant direct mail. Alongside copywriting, I found some cool sustainable products that I was able to get designed and include.

If anyone is thinking about doing a placement year, it is the most valuable thing you can do with your degree in terms of securing a graduate role. The skills, mindset and experience you gain is remarkable, and that sense of achievement is incredibly rewarding. Thanks, BCU Marketing!

Zoe, LLB (Hons) Law

One special experience that has happened during my time at BCU is when I completed the photoshoot to promote the campaign of ‘I AM BCU’. My story has been published online, on all social media platforms for the public and future students to read and enjoy. I loved this activity both because It has enhanced my role as a social media ambassador for the marketing team and because it has allowed me on an individual basis to promote university life as a whole. I really wanted to show that every student is different and that each person has their own life and struggles beyond university - and this platform has enabled me to do this to my best of my ability. 

Muhammad,  BA (Hons) Business Management (Supply Chain Management)

Muhammad 300x200 - Shot of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil When I attended a BCU open day as a college student in 2017, a student ambassador described BCU as “a global university.”

By the time I started my third year I had already been on two short trips to France and Hungary with the university.

But it was only when I walked in to The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, a university situated in one of the world’s largest urban forests, that I truly understood how extensive BCU’s international partnerships were.

In addition to learning a foreign language, I was able to gain the valuable life skills that come with living in a foreign country and made friends from all around the world. While I’ll fondly remember hiking up the Corcovado mountain to the Cristo Redentor statue, fulfilling my lifelong dream of attending a football match at the Maracanã and taking advantage of my love of history by visiting the Petrópolis Imperial Palace, what I will remember most fondly is how quickly the experience accelerated my personal development, grew my confidence and enhanced my cultural awareness.

Now, as I look to the last few weeks of my final year at BCU, having seen places, met people and created memories that I never thought possible, I understand what the student ambassador meant when she described BCU as “a global university.” It is this emphasis on diversity, curiosity and exploration that has made my time at BCU so fulfilling.

Alex, BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology

During my time at BCU, I have been lucky enough to support multiple photography, make-up and fashion based courses by modelling for different students. I have also been involved within a cross-course project discussing eating disorders. These experiences have allowed me to strengthen my confidence; be involved with change, both verbally and via photographs; whilst improving friendships with different students.

Conor, BSc (Hons) Accounting

Conor 200x300 - Conor stood in front of a lake with mountains in the background Some of my most amazing memories at BCU have come in the form of travelling. I have been very fortunate to have travelled to 9 different countries through BCU. I studied for 1 year in Spain and I studied on two four-week summer schools in South Korea and Mexico. I took part in a business placement project in China for 4 weeks and finally, I travelled around South America learning Spanish last summer visiting Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

These experiences have contributed an enormous amount to my personal development and have helped shape me as an individual. I have met so many amazing people from across the world, one of which is my girlfriend of 2 years. Upon returning from my travels, I secured work in the International Office at BCU. My time at university has been incredible - I could never have imagined that I would have so many amazing, unforgettable and life-changing experiences when I joined university.