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Mia Churchill

Music Technology - BSc (Hons)

Mia has felt a sense of belonging since joining Birmingham City University from both her lecturers and new friends on the BSc (Hons) Music Technology course. After consistent self-doubt and ambivalence around her capability with her studies, Mia has proven to herself that she can achieve anything if she puts her mind to it. Moving from her small town, Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, to the big city of Birmingham, has allowed Mia to excel in her confidence.

"I knew that I always wanted to go to university as it was the ultimate goal for me and the biggest aspiration to follow. However, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as I had so many different passions and interests, hence, the trickiest part was deciding what to study. However, as I have a classical music background I wanted to delve into the world of modern sound and music, which is why I chose the BSc (Hons) Music Technology course. The idea was to try and produce music, but the other opportunities and potential job aspects that have been presented to me through the course have opened my eyes to the bigger picture of the music world! I've gained various technology and science skills that I know will support me in whatever career path I choose.

The first few months at university were extremely intimidating for me as I often felt I was unworthy or didn't deserve to be studying where I was. I knew that this was mainly down to me comparing myself to other people, as well as making such a big move away from my small town, as everything was so new and different! Within lectures and seminars, I felt that I was the one who had no clue what was going on; in turn, I was hard on myself for not understanding everything straight away. However, I learned that it’s actually OK to ask questions: that's what the tutors and lecturers are there for! Through getting to grips with my situation and understanding that I had every right to be there - because it was down to my effort and hard work - I began to flourish and left first year with a predicted grade of a First Class!

I learned so much through my course material from the lectures and tutors. The course has covered such a broad spectrum of content: from digital audio fundamentals to laws within the music business. My main goal is to undertake a placement year, preferably working within digital and audio forensics. This is because I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my course leader, Roy Priest, who has given both informative and encouraging advice to everybody in my lectures around this area. As well as this, I have always had an interest in forensics and criminology; intertwining these subjects with music-based science is a potential career pathway for me. I know that my practical based learning is fully utilised through the facilities here at BCU, as they are top quality and the campus itself is the epitome of university expectations. I feel like I'm supported with every step I take whilst confidently progressing as an individual.

Moreover, my confidence and belief within myself has burgeoned due to the tutors at BCU being so approachable and informative; it made everything a lot less scary once I realised that I could easily have a chat to any member of staff! The email check-ins are also a great addition as it feels like there is always someone to reach out to if you're struggling. However, the best support I've personally experienced has been from the friends I've made on my course, as well as my flat-mates that I had previously connected with on Facebook: all of us are like a little family! Quite honestly, I don't know where I would be without them pushing me on and making me believe in myself and my abilities.

In addition to my studies, I have been heavily involved in an array of volunteering and work opportunities where I have stepped out of my comfort zone massively: an accomplishment I'll be proud of myself for, forever! I've learned amazing amounts with the modules I've encountered; a lot of the time, I've started completely from scratch without a clue of the content that sat in front of me! I've also partaken in a voluntary scheme tutoring primary school children from disadvantaged backgrounds in preparation for their SAT exams. I've never worked with children before and I was hesitant for a while when I was considering my application; this is another example of me throwing myself straight into the deep end. However, it has been the most rewarding experience and has opened doors for me, allowing me to confidently succeed in my current part-time job as a Literacy Tutor through the university.

To me, 'I am BCU' encapsulates my student experience: the ups and the downs, but mainly the progression I've made as a student and the development of my character. The BCU community is amazing and has facilitated me through both challenges and accomplishments; from tailored help with my CV in meetings with Careers+ advisors to hosting guest lectures within industry. I'm proud to be a part of BCU: a university that offers support and guidance when you need it, as well as providing the necessary skills and knowledge to progress throughout your studies and onto the next steps of your career path."

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