Ruth Hoetama

International Jewellery Business - BA (Hons)

Ruth was unable to complete her high school studies due to going through intensive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. She didn’t think she would ever get onto her chosen university course but after receiving support and guidance from BCU, she is now taking every opportunity she can to pursue her dream career.

"I was diagnosed with stage four cancer during high school and had to go through chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant that lasted over a year. Going through this intensive treatment meant I wasn’t able to complete my diploma and couldn’t graduate with the rest of my year. I found the thought of going back and being the oldest one in the class difficult, so I continued my jewellery studies with Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in Singapore, while still undergoing treatment.

My NAFA diploma was in Object and Jewellery Design, but I really wanted to learn about jewellery business and management, as my goal is to one day run my own jewellery brand and open my own store. I came across the International Jewellery Business course at BCU, which was exactly what I wanted to study, but as I hadn’t studied business in my high school years, I thought the door was definitely closed! I was really fortunate to come into contact with Sarah Travis, from the International Recruitment and Development team, who went out of her way to help me with the admission process.

I’m not from the UK, so it’s been a bit of a challenge to adjust to a different culture and make new friends. I’m really grateful that I’m able to make friends with international students, but sometimes I feel a bit lost without people from my home country around me. BCU has helped me in many ways, from simple things like checking my sentences make sense to providing many live project opportunities which enable me to make valuable industry connections.

During my time at BCU, I’ve had lots of opportunities to participate in School of Jewellery events, live projects and competitions. Having the chance to work with live clients has enabled me to experience the challenges and rewards of working in industry before leaving university. When I leave I’d really like to work for a UK jewellery company and be able to apply what I’ve learnt on my course. The opportunities and connections that BCU has provided have made me believe that my dream career is achievable.

My proudest moment so far is when I won the VC medal competition, as I had applied new skills and knowledge from my previous and current studies in my designs, and I was beyond ecstatic when I was announced winner. I feel as though I’ve come such a long way since high school and that gave me the reassurance I needed that I’m in the right place and on the right track." 

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