‘Returning to study in my 30s wasn’t easy but I’m proud to have a degree’

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Date: 6th Sep 2019

Richard Joseph has collected his degree at Buckinghamshire New University after juggling his studies with bringing up his six-year-old daughter.

Richard, 35, gained a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Advertising Management and Digital Communications and received his degree at Wycombe Swan theatre during a week of celebrations.Richard Joseph The proud father’s six-year-old daughter Shantae (pictured) was in the audience, along with partner, Vicky Hobbs, and parents David and Margaret Joseph, and he said it was a ‘hugely proud moment’ to step on to stage to receive his degree.

“It has not always been easy,” said Richard

“Returning to study in my 30s presented challenges, not least also making time for Shantae while keeping up with my degree, but I’m extremely proud with what I have achieved.

“I was working in warehousing but wanted to gain a degree to provide a better future for me and my family and now I am speaking to agencies and looking to get a job. The future looks exciting.”

Richard said his partner had been ‘extremely supportive’ and he praised the University and the quality of lecturers for ensuring he was able to achieve what he set out to do.

“The lecturers on my degree were absolutely awesome and had a broad breadth of knowledge which meant I learnt about such a huge range of areas,” said Richard.

“I received a warm welcome at the University and while at times it was strange going home to my family while other students were out partying the main thing was to get a degree.

“I would urge anyone who feels like they’re stuck in a job and want to look again at what they’re doing to consider a degree. I feel it has set me up for a positive career now.”

Vic Davies, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer, said: “As a mature student, Richard showed strength of character in carrying out his studies whilst juggling with his other responsibilities.

“He engaged fully with his academic work and always made a through contribution to discussions in lectures and when working with other students.

“Richard demonstrated his new skills and knowledge particularly well in several live presentations to major companies and in questioning industry speakers.”

Speaking about mature students studying at Bucks, Vic added: “Over recent years we have a growing number of mature students who have returned to full-time study, and we try to ensure that these students feel included within  the course.

“We work with them to understand  any issues which may have in returning to full-time education and what this means in  terms of developing time management and study skills.

“The University looks to ensure that students are treated as individuals, rather than just part of an anonymous mass. This creates not only a platform for academic success, but one that enables the student to use the knowledge and skills gained here as basis for career and life changes.”

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