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This is a guest blog by BA (Hons) History graduate Tom Rayner whose ambition is to one day work alongside his lecturers as an academic himself.

I learned many vital things I learnt in my three years at BU. On reflection, they shaped the course of my future as I became an independent adult. There are the academic practices which I learned, such as how to reference and avoid plagiarism, how to write properly and expand my vocabulary, and (of key importance)
how to become an independent researcher. Overall, I was thoroughly taught how to become a scholar. The space I was given by my teachers to be independent, in my research, essays, and interests, is I believe, the most valuable lesson of the course. This was complemented by the mentorship of my lecturers who guided and fostered my ambitions. This was helped by the small size of the cohort. When I studied at BU, I could drop in to the offices of my lecturers at short notice orunannounced. This is very rare at other institutions but something that I valued greatly. It really helps to build a community between the lecturers and students. You feel supported and encouraged to do well. If I had to make the decision again, I would choose to study at BU every time – thanks largely to the fantastic staff. I was inspired by the academics who delivered my course, and found their knowledge and enthusiasm has influenced my interest in history. I enjoyed my studies so much that I am now studying a Master’s degree in the Netherlands and ultimately, if I become an academic myself, I would love to work with some of the people who have already had such a positive impact on my career.

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