Date: 6th Apr 2016
A Bucks New University graduate who lives on a narrow boat says she can see her career going upstream after gaining a first-class honours degree in Psychology and Criminology and winning a prestigious award.
Jude Windmill was presented with her degree in a graduation ceremony at the Wycombe Swan Theatre in High Wycombe. The graduate was also presented with the British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award for achieving the highest mark on courses accredited by the organisation and said she eventually plans to pursue a role in prison reform or sex offender policy.
Jude has lived on a narrow boat on the Oxford Canal for three years but said her next port of call would be on solid ground as she takes up an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Edinburgh.
She said: "I have lived on a narrow boat for three years and it provided an extra challenge for studying, as in a confined space I frequently ended up with the bookcase overflowing and piles of books and journal articles all over the floor.
"I also found it quite difficult during winter, as after a long day at university I would arrive home and immediately have to make a fire to heat the boat!
"Still, the challenges make my achievements feel all the more satisfying.
"During my time at Bucks New University I feel I developed a greater focus and clarity of the direction I wish to pursue, as well as cultivating my analytical skills.
"The lecturing staff were great as they were very approachable and knowledgeable, which encouraged me to go beyond the basics and really involve myself in my studies."
Jude also took part in the Bucks Mentoring Scheme at Bucks New University, where students are overseen by a former student or another professional person to help them focus on their careers, identify opportunities and develop networking skills.
She added: "Throughout the year my mentor, Paul Mott, was instrumental in growing my confidence in my own ability and potential. We became good friends and will be keeping in touch beyond the mentoring programme."
Mr Mott, who is a business ambassador for Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF), said: "Working with Jude Windmill was a hugely rewarding and fulfilling experience.
"As someone who studied full-time many years ago, it was enlightening to recall the challenges that students face when making decisions around career direction, applying for jobs, and even where in the world they want to live - something that wasn't as much a consideration 30 years ago!
"Sharing career and life experiences is the most valuable tool that a mentor can give to the student and I feel a real sense of pride to have played a tiny part in Jude's final year at university and will unquestionably follow her progress with interest in the future."
Paul Wilcock, Alumni and Mentoring Manager at Bucks New University, said: "We are extremely grateful to Paul Mott and the University's other mentors for giving their precious time to support our student mentees.
"Mentors achieve a huge sense of fulfilment in passing on their skills and experience and witnessing how this contributes to the personal growth of students.
"At the same time, mentees gain practical advice, build confidence, develop skills and learn from the experiences of others, which all helps in providing career insight and direction. Getting involved in the scheme also enhances the CVs of both parties."
Picture caption: Jude Windmill with Paul Wilcock, of Bucks New University, and her mentor, Paul Mott, of Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF).