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Olivia grad 1Olivia Elkins, BA (Hons) Business and Management (Top-up) graduate gives her take on the big day…

It’s strange to think that the place I first learnt to swim at the age of four would become the very building where I’d take my first steps as a BU graduate.

I started my day by collecting my gown and mortar, which felt really special as I suddenly started to feel like a graduate. I then had the opportunity to have some professional photos taken with my family, which was so much fun and a great way to remember the day.

The whole experience felt a bit surreal – not least when I was called up on stage to shake hands with the Vice Chancellor of Bournemouth University. It was such a lovely moment to walk across the stage and see my family cheering me on. At that moment I realised that I had just graduated from BU and that I was about to begin the next chapter of my life as a graduate. The ceremony was full of such tradition, filling me with such a sense of pride in my achievement and also excitement in anticipation of the years to come as a graduate.

But my favourite part of the day by far was at the end of the ceremony when the Vice Chancellor asked us all to turn around and thank our families and friends for all the support they had given us over the years. At that moment I was completely overcome with emotion as I saw my family in the crowd and realised just how much support they had given me throughout my degree, and how grateful of that I was.

Olivia grad 2

After the ceremony I had the chance to catch up with my class mates and take a few more pictures. We even had the chance to celebrate with some drinks and catch up with our lecturers in the Purbeck Hall, which was a lot of fun!

It was such a special day for both me and my family and the perfect way to celebrate three years of hard work. So thank you Bournemouth University for a day I will never forget.



We caught up with Olivia and asked her some questions about being a BU Top-up student…

1. Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve done since graduating?

Since graduating I have been working at BU as a Marketing and Student Recruitment Assistant. I’ve had the opportunity to attend large scale UCAS Conventions and deliver workshops and presentations to schools and colleges. I have also had the responsibility of coordinating and delivering Subject Insight Days at BU, which give students the opportunity to experience BU and learn about the brilliant courses we have here. I’ve found this position so rewarding.

2. What made you decide to do a Top-up degree?

For me, I was unhappy at the university where I was studying and home was Bournemouth, so I decided to look into how to transfer. After speaking to one of the programmes administrators in the Faculty of Management, they informed me about the Top-up degree courses at BU. I was so impressed by the support and range of Top-up courses at BU, from Business and Management to International Hospitality & Tourism Management. For me the decision was easy – the opportunity to transfer my credits and complete my degree without having to repeat my first or second years and join a brilliant university.

3. What did you enjoy most about being at BU?

I enjoyed meeting lots of new people from all over the world. I have made lifelong friends from my course and will always remember my time at BU fondly. It was particularly interesting being a business student and working with such a diverse group of individuals as it really did provide an international perspective on our group work projects.

4. How has your Top-up degree helped in your career?

I believe my top-up degree has helped me to develop the skills and knowledge I need to support me in my future career. What’s more, the support that BU provides to all students post-graduation is fantastic. They offer all students support up to three years after graduation, from help with CV writing through to assessment centre workshops. It’s really great to have studied at a university that cares about its graduates as well as its current students.

5. What’s your favourite memory of your course?

Having the opportunity to develop a marketing plan for a local business owner and pitch my ideas to them. It felt great to have my work recognised outside of my lecture group and to hear real industry feedback.


By Olivia Elkins, BA (Hons) Business and Management (Top-up)

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