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My uni experience

Posted: April 02 2020

Paris, Business and marketing

My name is Paris and I am a final year Business and Marketing student at Brunel University London. My course is a four-year sandwich course meaning I had a placement year last year.

Throughout my experience at university, I have lived at home. Before I decided to go to Brunel, I knew I wanted to go to a university in London so I could be near my family and all my friends who decided to go to work after college. I went to every open day but knew I wanted to go to Brunel because it felt like I belonged there. It was by far the most diverse university I had visited and because it was a smaller campus I knew I wouldn’t get too lost as I tried to find my classes.

The decision to stay at home was difficult. At home is myself, my mum and brother who is a year younger than me (and now also goes to Brunel). The reason I wanted to stay home was to save money on accommodation which was at the time around £5000 a year, when I could just live at home for free. However, I watched loads of YouTube videos of university students that had lived at home that said it was ‘the worst thing they ever did’ that they had dropped out etc. This was clearly not my experience. I only live 20 minutes away from campus so I was able to get fully involved with the university, especially during Fresher’s week and made friends with a group of first-year students who also weren’t on my course. While it can be awkward, everyone is in the same boat, because everyone is new. The university throws great events like free BBQs for people in the same course which makes it easy to socialise and make friends. If you live close to the university, I would definitely recommend living at home instead of on campus.

At university, aside from having friends, I also got involved in a lot of groups and societies and even got a load of part-time jobs on campus and off-campus to support myself through university. In my first year, I became a part of the Tae Kwon-Do Society and the West Indian Society.  Both meet up twice a week which was really fun. I started working as a Student Ambassador, showing prospective students around the university and became a Student Caller in the Call Centre.

In my second year, I decided to start my own business called That Good Hair making customisable hair care products for people with wavy, curly and coily hair. I went to the Brunel Entrepreneurs Hub to get help and guidance for my idea and was encouraged to apply for the University Venture Competition. I managed to win against 10 other applicants and secured £3000 to start my idea. The University continued to support me by finding me mentors and accelerators to take my business to the next level. In my third year, I was lucky enough to secure a placement at L’Oreal where I was a Digital Data Analyst in the Corporate Digital Marketing Team. This placement was fantastic and taught me so much about the beauty industry and corporate life. When I came back to university, all of my friends had graduated but I managed to make a group of new friends with all the other students that also had a placement year. Now I am back in my final year and have submitted my dissertation and am preparing for my exams with my friends. My four years at Brunel have been amazing and I am looking forward to going full time into my business when I graduate.