As part of our Business and Law Student Spotlight 2021, we spoke to Business and HR Management student, Elena Carmen Ceesay, about her journey so far at UWE Bristol. Carmen is a mature student and has recently returned to education to help her get her dream job.
What has been your biggest achievement over the past year?
“My greatest achievement is successfully passing all my exams despite all the challenges! My confidence has definitely improved and I have learnt new things that I can now apply to every aspect of my life.”
What has been your biggest challenge over the past year?
“The last year has been really challenging, not only due to the pandemic but also due to personal circumstances. I am a mature student and a working mum. It has been a struggle with childcare for my two-year-old undiagnosed autistic daughter, and I have particularly struggled with time management. It was inspiring to me to receive such good results in my first year at university and this has given me the confidence to go into my second year.
I also had doubts about fitting in with my classmates due to an age gap, however, in our team working assignments my experience benefited the whole team and we worked really well together to complete various projects.”
What advice would you give to new students or those looking into Higher Education?
“Never be scared to always improve yourself, no matter what age you are! Returning as a mature student I was worried I wouldn’t fit in, I wouldn’t have time to do what is needed and that it wouldn’t benefit me – but all those thoughts are now gone.
I would also advise new students to plan their time well and ensure that they work on assignments from the beginning of the module and not last minute. Engaging with the reading list is also important, it is there to help you, so take advantage of that list already put together for you.”