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Julie Orme

Having moved from Essex to Northumberland in 2007 due to my husband's job I decided it was time for a change, so I applied to do the HEFC access course at Northumberland College. Though I originally thought of studying occupational therapy, while studying HEFC English I re-discovered my passion for English Literature, and with much encouragement form my family, I was then 44, I managed to get a place on the BA honours programme at Northumbria. My time studying at Northumbria was one of the most fulfilling times of my life, and I would encourage mature students to put their concerns aside and return to education as I did. I received excellent support from the lecturers and staff at Northumbria, and soon fitted in with the much younger students, from whom I learned a great deal. As mature students we have an excellent work ethic, and it's this which allows us to attain excellent results: I gained a first class honours degree and a distinction at Masters level.

What are you doing now?

Since completing my MA, I've been working as a casual English tutor in secondary schools. In September, and at the ripe old age of 52, I'll be embarking on a PGCE in Adult Learning with English Specialism - you really are 'never too old to learn'.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

The university is very welcoming to mature students. Indeed, it has links with all the local FE colleges and actively seeks mature students.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

There were a mix of lectures, seminars and team projects such as the professional practice modules in the second year of the undergraduate degree. The feedback was always timely, constructive and encouraging.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

The staff were dedicated professionals who always had time to offer support and help. Their knowledge and subject expertise was excellent and they always displayed passion for their subject.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria allowed me to develop good analytical and research skills and to attain the grades and display the work ethos necessary to becoming a good prospect for employers. It  has also opened the door to further, vocational study.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my undergraduate degree was the eclectic mix of modules available to study for example, Early Modern Literature through to Writing The Body and Sexuality Matters. The best thing about my MA was the way that one's critical skills were developed to the point of autonomous study whereby, one graduated from being a student to being a literary critic.

What skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you know use throughout your career?

The ability to conduct effective academic research, time-management skills, and confidence.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words before coming to Northumbria?

Static, scared and unsure of myself.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after completing 1 year at Northumbria?

Developing, progressing, expectant.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after graduating Northumbria?

Confident, determined, committed.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Learning new skills and becoming a different person, capable of the rigours of academic life.  Meeting new people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Benefiting from the hugely inspiring, dedication to and passion for, one's subject, which was displayed by the lecturers.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

If one is a mature student, be sure one is really committed and learn to manage your time effectively. Above all, work hard, enjoy learning and go for it - Northumbria is an excellent place to study.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Inspiring, life-changing, enjoyable.

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