James Produced by

Second year

BA (Hons) Media Production

If you’re anything like me, you find yourself watching a video for a moment too long on social media, and suddenly you are part of that algorithm… for me, it was Gary Vaynerchuck, better known on his socials as Gary Vee.

Before I knew it, I was being screamed at in a high-pitched voice about why I shouldn’t go to university as it’s a waste of money and I should spend my time going around car boots sales and garage sales to buy people’s old junk and sell it on eBay. I’m sure there are people out there who were inspired by him and managed to make a lot of money, if that’s you, then all the power to you. But there is a trend amongst business influencers that encourages their viewers to get their phones out and just start making content.

I should have done that; I should have just started making videos of myself eating food without chewing and received thousands of pounds per month for putting my gut through hell. …No. Stop that now Jim! You love food too much to disrespect it in such a way.

James and friends with media equipment taking selfie

I’m on the left!

Uni as a mature student, is a daunting thought, and don’t get me wrong, it is by no measure, easy. Do I get reminded that I’m a similar age to my fellow students’ parents? Yes.

Do I get mistaken for being a lecturer? Only once, but it still hurt.

But not once has anyone made me feel strange for studying as an older student though, in fact, it has been such a welcoming and inclusive experience and I am so glad I decided to study at Bournemouth.

If you are still reading, which I hope you are. I will now talk about the benefits of studying, especially as a mature student.

James and American Football team

I joined the American Football team last year, I trained 2-3 times a week, got myself hurt – just like the rest of the team. I had never been a part of a sports team before joining the BU Bobcats and had I not decided to go to Bournemouth University, I probably would have never experienced the comradery, competitiveness, and fun that comes along with that. I just want to add, I had never even watched the sport of American Football, let alone thought about playing it, so anything is possible.

And to think I almost joined the quidditch society before getting recruited for the team. I wasn’t headhunted per se, I apparently had the look of a person who could handle a beating. (Disclaimer: No one said that it was just a feeling I had after being tackled for the first time).

There is so much opportunity that comes with attending university, especially Bournemouth. I am studying Media Production, and before I joined, I had a career in retail and hospitality that spanned almost twenty years that enabled me to travel and work and meet amazing people and learn some dynamic life skills that have helped me get this far in life so far unscathed, but ultimately I reached a point where I no longer felt challenged, or happy.

The course I’m on has allowed me to not only learn how to use but allowed me the experience in borrowing equipment to create my own projects.

James and Media equipmentMedia Production at Bournemouth University is incredibly creative if you want it to be, it is encouraged. I have worked on app design, written and recorded audio dramas, film and edited documentaries as well as participating in writing and creating short films. I am only halfway through my second year, and I am having a blast!

I am currently getting ready to do a placement year, where I will be working for a company for a year gaining much-needed experience in the industry, making contacts, and learning skills that you can only get from participating in a work environment.

Could I have just gone into the industry straight from working in a restaurant? It’s not impossible, but I would have been a fish out of water.

The route of studying isn’t the easy route; it has been incredibly challenging in terms of the work we do, but I know what to expect when I leave and enter back into the workforce in a new industry – just how hard I will need to work, but also how to work. I will have made contacts, but also have contacts from people I met while studying. So Gary Vee, if you are reading this… nah I’m just messing, Gary’s at a car boot sale, he’s not reading.

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