We caught up with alumna Chelsea Craven who graduated from The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this year with a 2:1. Chelsea studied a BA (Hons) in Journalism.
What was your biggest achievement at university?
I think anyone in my generation choosing to do a degree and sticking to it, is their biggest achievement so far, period. But, I think the biggest achievement was what I learnt about myself as I went through the long hard process that doing a degree is. I by no means was the smartest, but I’m honestly smarter now than I was before going to university. Not just in my career choice, but in life. If I had to say what I’m most proud of doing whilst studying, it would have to be choosing to do a dissertation, on a tricky subject, creating my own journalist Preston community without knowing anyone before to get stories, and learning to find value in the not so fun parts of my academic journey.
What did you enjoy most about your course at the university?
I enjoyed my independence, I felt like I was actually progressing in the things I really wanted to learn and do. I met many interesting and influential people, Preston is like a second home to me. I grew up in a lot of different ways there.
I believe you did placements as part of your university course, can you tell us a bit about that?
UCLan is pretty good at providing placements, now university is over, I think it’s really through placements that students get their first jobs. If you want a job get a placement and ace it. I did placements at local BBC Radio, ITV’s This Morning, Local Digital News companies, and things related to my church public affairs. It was through doing these placements that I truly discovered where I could go and what I’d have to do to get there, but more importantly, it helped me decide where I really want to go. Where, Chelsea Craven fits into Journalism. So, do as many placements as you can to find your path and then do more to make your desired path even clearer.
What advice would you give to our Sixth Form students?
The lecturers on my course, where surprised blessings. My advice to anyone that is looking to actually enjoy their course at a university is choose professors not courses. I enjoyed learning from them and after all, journalism is kind of subjective, so you need to find people that actually teach and help you find your own way in the career field rather than doing it their way.
How did All Saints’ Academy Sixth Form help you in reaching your goals for university?
Again, I think my teachers made a huge difference for me. Firstly, I came over from America very late in the AS year, right before exams. That was an experience that is very unique and difficult, but All Saints’ teachers, I could tell, really believed in me and gave me personal mentoring to aid me. I don’t think I could have made it without them. Even after finishing Sixth Form, I decided to do a voluntary missionary service for 18 months in Brazil (not knowing Portuguese beforehand). I was grateful that my teachers weren’t discouraging towards that and whilst I was away and didn’t have much access to my home life, my teachers advised and assisted me and my parents in my application to university upon my return. They too I call blessings in my life, because once again, without this help, I might not have gone to university. Once again, choose teachers, not classes.
What were your highlights at All Saints’ Sixth Form?
There were so many, one being a Media Studies Trip Mrs Edgar organised for us to go and see Birmingham City University. That sparked a lot of interest for me to attend an English university. Other highlights include fancy dress days, those were a nice little bit of English culture unique to what I knew in America. I remember once an MP of Education came to ASA, I got to meet him. A few others were the talent shows and doing the leavers books with Mrs Edgar.
What are you hoping to do now you have graduated?
I’ve recently been employed as a Social Media Manager for an international positive life coaching company for European Young Adults called Cumorah Academy. I hope to continue to do positive media with a Christian influence as my religious beliefs are a huge part of who I am.
Thank you very much All Saints’ Academy for believing in me and blessing my life, when some would have easily given up on me because I’m a lot of work sometimes. Thank you to The University of Central Lancashire for several reasons that has led me to be a happy graduate.