Anshita Adhikari

Visual Effects - BSc (Hons)

Coming from a home with parents who had expectations that she should go into the medical field, Anshita went with her heart and is now immersed in her Visual Effects degree.

‘As I am the eldest sibling, I have always wanted to pursue a career that would help support my family. My parents have had high expectations of my grades from a young age and I wanted to be able to fulfil those expectations. In the beginning, I wanted to pursue something in the medical field because my parents, especially coming from an ethnic background, expected me to. I found a love for psychology and sociology and went on to study them in college. At the time, I thought I could incorporate my knowledge of those subjects and get a career in psychotherapy. I was interested in helping people with mental disorders, I’m fascinated by how they view the world and how I could help them. In the back of my mind, I had this digital fascination, but I didn't think I could pursue a career in it because there wasn't much information around me. My digital interests were mostly hobby based and I thought that would remain the case as I wasn’t sure how to build a career from it.

When I visited one of the BCU Open Days, I discovered the Criminology course and spoke to one of the lecturers, immediately found it interesting and thought it was an area to explore more. There was a joint course available in Criminology and Psychology and I had in mind that I would apply to do that, in the hope of then going into psychotherapy. It didn’t cross my mind at that stage to look at the digital courses as I didn’t see it as a valid option.

My personal statement was angled towards applying for the Psychology and Criminology course. During this process, I spoke to one of my college teachers at the time and she said, if it’s not something I’m passionate about and is more of an interest, not to spend all my time and money on it. I hadn’t had anyone say this to me before, so it really influenced me and made me re-evaluate my decisions. I made a last-minute decision to look at game, film and animation courses. I was reluctant at first as I didn’t have any experience in the field, so it felt like a drastic decision moving from one industry to another. I had some background knowledge in the area as my father is really into media, particularly photography and film editing.

Growing up, I didn’t show much interest in my dad's creative hobbies, I didn't question him about it. However, it was something we had bonded over on occasion which is what sparked my interest in studying it at degree level. When I investigated the creative courses on the BCU website and the specific modules of the courses, it made me realise that it could be something I would really like. Initially, I looked into the Gaming and the Visual Effects courses. I found the modules on the Visual Effects really interesting and thought I should just go for it! The other universities didn’t seem to have a focus on the creative industries in the same way that BCU does. Not only were the courses and facilities better at BCU, at the time, I didn’t want to move from home and because BCU is local to me. It seemed ideal.

So far, I'm really enjoying the course. It's got all the things that captured my interest. I can already tell that I'm enjoying this more than I would have enjoyed doing psychology. I would have found psychology interesting, but it wasn’t something that I'm actually passionate about. One of the best decisions I have ever made is switching my course options and not just sticking with psychotherapy because I feel like I have found my passion in the visual effects course.

Since starting university, my parents have been really supportive of my decision and are happier now that I have spoken to them about all future career options in the field. I have opened their eyes to show them that the gaming industry is big, and evolving every day. There is more and more technology being used and that is something that will continue to grow. I also explained to them that I feel I have as much chance getting into this as someone studying a medical course and getting a job at the end of it. I'd rather be in the creative industry and be happy with what I'm doing compared to getting a good job but not really being happy in it. I have dreams of working in a big production company as part of a large team and it excites me to think about that.

Not only do my parents now support my career decisions, me and my dad now bond over looking at his cameras and editing videos. I have also been able to teach him a few things, it’s been really nice to teach him about coding as he showed a real interest in that when he has seen me working on it at home.

One piece of advice that I strongly stand by for future students, is study the subject that you are passionate about. Take a look at the career path options that there are with the course you are interested in, and it will open your perspective to see that it is likely to be a good option for you.

‘I AM BCU’ shows that we have discipline and that we are thinking ahead for a positive future. It means we are thinking about what we want to do with our lives.’