Alicia Donaldson I Am BCU 900x400

Alicia Donaldson

Sociology - BA (Hons)

When Alicia came to an Open Day, she was inspired by academics who reflected the University’s diverse background.

"I’m originally from Leeds and lived on the outskirts of the city in a quiet area with not much going on. I wanted to go to university for the whole experience of living away from home, being pushed out of my comfort zone, learning new skills and to improve myself.

One of the biggest reasons behind why I chose BCU is the fact it was the only university where I saw academic staff from a similar background to me; the uni had diverse staff and a curriculum that I felt I could engage with. I applied to five different universities, but BCU was my main choice.

When I started, I joined the Burlesque Society and the Fighting Game Society, and was eventually voted onto the committees for both societies. I felt most at home within these societies, and have made many of my long-term friends from these groups. Not only did I meet people, but I gained skills I wouldn’t have got had I not joined these societies, such as how to liaise with companies for organising events, how to be a leader and a mentor. I also started performing more, and started getting bookings in and around Birmingham to perform.

I became a different person at BCU. I am confident, I am the first person to speak up and the first person to sign up and get involved in events. I can speak in front of large crowds and at conferences. I can articulate my opinions and navigate through different situations more efficiently. I’ve been provided with the skills in activism to protest inequalities during my studies as a Master’s student. I’m more independent, understanding how to deal with issues such as housing bills and balancing finances; general adult life skills that I could only learn from leaving home to go to university.

My goal in life is currently to complete my Master’s and then go onto a doctorate, which I plan to do at BCU. BCU has enabled me to cultivate my academic epistemological standpoint and given me the tools to be a successful academic, but also become my own personal style of academic. Without the skills BCU provided me with, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my Master’s. I have to say, I faced very few challenges while studying at BCU, which is why I want to come back and do my PhD here."

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