Gemma – Bishop Grosseteste

Gemma -1
Gemma Mercer, 28

Gemma studied Early Childhood Studies at Bishop Grosseteste University from 2007 to 2010, and urges all prospective undergraduate students to visit their universities of choice before making any final decisions.

What research did you carry out to help you choose which universities to apply to?

My college arranged a trip to Bishop Grosseteste University and I fell in love with the campus! I would recommend visiting universities and taking the advantage of any school trips that are arranged, even if you think you don’t want to go to university or you think you know where you want to go – it is still worth going to look.

Where did you go for help and support throughout the application process?

I had some support from my careers teacher at college but most of my questions were answered by calling Bishop Grosseteste University, they were really helpful!

Which factors made you finally settle on your chosen course and university?

I loved the small university campus and the fact that it is a campus based university with everything together. I also wanted a course that had work placement opportunities.

Did you go to an open day?

No, I just attended a taster day and an interview day for Bishop Grosseteste University, but I have been to some other university open days.

Did you find a place to live easily?

Yes, the accommodation officer was great at providing all the information I needed to apply to live in halls of residence. For my second year, I decided to move off campus with a group of close friends and the accommodation officer arranged a housing fair which was really useful to meet local landlords.

How has your time at university been? Has it delivered what you were looking for and are you happy?

I loved my time at university, I got myself involved in as much as I could and it really helped me to develop my confidence. I also made lifelong friends and now have so many amazing memories. I also loved my course and found it really interesting; it delivered just what I was looking for and it gave me all the skills I needed to start work after graduation.

How has the university supported or changed your career ambitions?

When starting university, I was already a qualified nursery nurse and my plan was to get my degree to help me become a nursery room leader. During my time at university, alongside my course I started helping out as a student ambassador giving campus tours and talking to prospective students about student life. When graduating a position came up in outreach where I could go into schools and colleges and talk about university, it was a ten-month contract and I decided to take a year out to do this – I loved my time at university and wanted to share this with others. This was over six and a half years ago, and I am still working in the team now!

I love my job and it is something I never knew existed before starting university. Before coming to university I would never have had the confidence to stand up and deliver presentations in front of people, but now I do it every day in my job! University really helped to develop my confidence, and I gained transferable skills that have helped to open up so many options for me.

What advice would you give to others who are starting to go through the same process?

Go and visit the universities and see the campuses, speak to current students and get a real feel for what the university is like. University is more than just the course you do, so you have to make sure you are happy and it feels right for you. Enjoy the experience and make the most of visiting all the different cities on open days.

University is such an amazing part of your life, so I would recommend making the most of your time while you are there and get involved in as much as you can.